"..a bardy view!"

King Croc – down Mindanao way……

The largest saltwater crocodile captured alive (down in Mindanao) has garnered global attention. The 21 foot reptile has generated mixed responses. Croc

Many commentators have been distressed by the manhandling of the creature (in typical Daily Mail fashion), whilst others have been impressed that those who hunted it did their best to respect it and keep it alive – at considerable danger to themselves.

Well something had to be done about it, due to it's tendency to swallow grown men whole and take down a caribou with jaw dropping skill.

Whilst the issue highlights the encroachment of man into the natural habital of specific species, which is an argument for governments and environmentalists to chew over, the local residents did not have the luxury to ponder such ecological matters, and were grossly concerned about having a ruthless killer in their midst – a killer which has plagued them for several years and has probably accounted for numerous missing persons.

They could of course have blown the brains out of the thing and invite even more castigation, but instead they decided to capture it (as humanely as possible) and still they are condemned. (The killing of endangered crocodiles is actually forbidden in the Philippines, where the world's rarest freshwater crocodile lives. See Bardiness: The Philippines Crocodile)

Perhaps it was the display of triumphalism which has upset the woolly minded animal rights brigade, but if I had been involved in the capture (as unlikely as that may be) you can bet I would be equally exuberant and be active in the resulting fiesta.

It's worth pointing out that this was not a jolly fox hunt over the Sussex Downs but a meticulously planned affair which took three weeks, with the full assistance of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Division of the Department of the Environment, and with notable backing from conservation groups.

Filipinos are very enterprising, so if there was a mercenary element to capture the croc alive in order that it became a major tourist attraction, then who could blame them? A special eco-park will be built for it, and there is nothing to suggest it will not be cared for properly.

It's now believed that there may be more crocodiles in the area, with the suggestion that King Croc may have a mate who is even bigger. I don't know much about the mating habits of crocodiles, but I assume they enjoy a tumble in the mud as much as any other reptile, particularly in September because it's the mating season. In which case there may well be a very angry female sulking in the swamps lamenting the loss of her stud.

On a separate note, WMS the Official Journal of the Wilderness Medical Society in Australia have given some useful tips about dealing with crocodiles:

In the first instance, you should avoid any contact with them (I kid you not). Secondly, if attacked you should fight back and gouge the croc's eyes out (which apparently is most effective). And thirdly, should you get your hand trapped in a crocodile's mouth, you should reach down to displace the palatal valve which causes the beast to aspirate water.

Got that? Good! So should you find yourself at the wrong end of one – remember – at all costs keep your head, and follow this excellent advice.



September 6, 2011 - Posted by | Conservation, Culture, Education, The Philippines | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. That’s some ‘croc’ all right and many thanks for the helpful advice from WMS. I’m quietly positive that if I got grabbed by this monster, I would have time to gouge it’s eyes out and better still still have time to reach down and aspirate it’s palatal valve. You’ll come a Waltzing Mathilda with me? The Filipino’s also made a big mistake with all the fuss and hullaboo as all they had to do was hire Croc Dundee to manhandle this beast by himself, provided of course there was some Sheila in a thong on the banks applauding him. Now that’s entertainment.


    Comment by Spook | September 7, 2011 | Reply

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