Just last week, a man was attacked and partially eaten by a croc. This story reminds us that man is not always at the top of the food pyramid.
Crocodile kills fisherman in Palawan
June 22, MANILA, Philippines— A saltwater crocodile has killed a fisherman in Bataraza town in Palawan and police said his left leg was bitten off while the other was almost severed.
The body of Edwin Lucero, 36, was found covered with bite marks and floating in a river in Rio Tuba village at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Bataraza police chief Senior Inspector Aldrico Nangit said.
“His right foot up to the knee was missing and his left foot was ripped off. Several wounds and teeth marks of the crocodile were seen on his body. It’s too tragic.”
Lucero, a resident of Rio Tuba village, went missing while collecting wood on a riverbank on Tuesday, with residents reporting hearing heavy splashing, said Nangit.
A search party saw the man’s corpse in the maw of the beast above the water at dawn Wednesday. “The body was floating but apparently the crocodile was still biting its torso. They circled it with the motorboat and threw (torch) batteries and that is when it (the crocodile) submerged.”
The killer crocodile remains at large.
The area is known to harbor crocodiles, with a specimen about 16 feet long captured there after killing a man in the 1990s.
The saltwater crocodile is found throughout Asia, but the western island of Palawan, often called the Philippines’ last frontier, is one of the few places in the country where it survives, due to hunting and habitat loss elsewhere.
The government renamed it the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center but to everyone else–residents, tourists, and government employees–it’s still the Crocodile Farm.
The farm is a regular stop on the City Tour. That’s me posing against a poster of the typical destinations covered in the City Tour.
I was surprised at how nice the croc’s underside felt. I shouldn’t have been. Crocodile leather is one of the most desirable animal skins available. It’s made into handbags, shoes, belts, wallets, and so forth.
The juvenile croc draped around my neck is 18 months old. It had plenty of siblings inside the Hatchling House.
Earth’s largest living [crocodile]—and, some say, the animal most likely to eat a human—is the saltwater or estuarine crocodile. Average-size males reach 17 feet (5 meters) and 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms), but specimens 23 feet (7 meters) long and weighing 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms) are not uncommon.
Classic opportunistic predators, they lurk patiently beneath the surface near the water’s edge, waiting for potential prey to stop for a sip of water. They’ll feed on anything they can get their jaws on, including water buffalo, monkeys, wild boar, and even sharks. Without warning, they explode from the water with a thrash of their powerful tails, grasp their victim, and drag it back in, holding it under until the animal drowns.
Behind the Hatchling House is a metal boardwalk. Visitors climb up to see the adults in separate holding pens.
For 10 bucks, you could feed the crocs. You were given a rotting chicken to dangle over the holding pen.
(Or maybe it doesn’t leap!)
It was sobering to see how quickly these animals moved when they attacked. They would freeze like statues and then suddenly lunge!
How to get there
You take the southbound National Highway. When you see the sign below, you’re nearly there. The farm itself is along the highway.
This is what we do to man-eaters.
How to enlarge these images
Click on an image and then click again on the image’s final resolution (encircled).