More crocodile drama took place in Jakarta yesterday following sightings of three of the water-dwelling reptiles in the capital’s Grogol river in late June. While the origin of that trio is still unknown, some speculated that they were former pets that had been dumped into the river.
It seems a reasonable theory, given that yesterday’s crocodile tale involved one of the scaly beasts that had once been a family pet but grew too large for its owner’s liking.
The Jakarta Fire and Rescue Agency (PKP) were called to the Perum Griya Loka Residence in Cipayung, East Jakarta, yesterday afternoon to remove the crocodile from a pond in the complex. Officials learned that the animal had been the pet of a resident named H. Mamat who had been keeping it since the 1990s. When he died, his son continued to look after the croc, which continued to grow in appetite and size until it reached a weight of around 250 kg.
“After getting bigger like this, his son no longer wants to keep the (crocodile), he does not dare, so he asked us to remove it,” said PKP supervisor Gatot Sulaiman as quoted by Kompas.
Gatot said the removal process took several hours as they first had to drain the crocodile’s pond to make him easier to capture. Then his team, along with members of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) Wildlife Animal Rescue Team and the Civil Service Police (Satpol PP), had to haul the crocodile out of the pond and wrest it into submission so that it could be restrained and finally transported away.
Fortunately, the operation went relatively smoothly and nobody (including the crocodile) getting hurt. The creature was then relocated to the reptile park inside Jakarta’s Taman Mini theme park.
While crocodiles can be found in many parts of Indonesia (and seem to have been coming into conflict with humans more frequently as of late), they are obviously not native to the metropolis of Jakarta. However, in late June, three crocodiles were spotted swimming in the capital’s Grogol River near Grogol Station. Authorities made several attempts to capture them but were reportedly thwarted by onlookers who pelted the reptiles with rocks and frightened them into hiding. They have not been spotted since and one animal control official said they probably moved out to sea or possibly to the Kalijodo River.
It is illegal to own crocodiles as pets in Indonesia as they are classified as a protected species, but many people still do so, sometimes forming strong bonds with the cold-blooded creatures as in the surprisingly touching tale of one family’s beloved “fat crocodile” that was also eventually removed by authorities.