A GIANT crocodile believed to have killed a 33-year-old fisherman in Balabac, Palawan last November 27 was captured on Saturday by local authorities, Police Regional Office 4-B director Chief Supt. Tomas Apolinario Jr. said yesterday.
The saltwater crocodile, which measures about 15’6” feet in length and 29” inches in width and weighing about 500 kilograms, was caught by members of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, with the help of the Philippine National Police Maritime Group and the Philippine Coast Guard, at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
A PNP Maritime Group vehicle was used to transport the giant reptile to a local crocodile farm yesterday morning.
Officials said that the crocodile was believed to have attacked fisherman Cornelio Sarcedo Bonete alias “Boboy,” a resident of Bgy. Poblacion in Balabac municipality, around 3 a.m. on Tuesday last week.
The victim’s father, Reynaldo, 68, reported the disappearance of his son to the Balabac Municipal Police Station and aired suspicions Cornelio was attacked by a crocodile while fishing in the municipal waters.
Policemen who investigated the complaint found the fishing paraphernalia of the missing victim intact in his motor banca.
During interviews with local residents, the Balabac police learned that some persons living in Bgy. Poblacion 5 heard a man shouting for help early morning of November 27. However, the residents said they did not know where the voice came from.
Around 5 p.m. of the same day, Apolinario said that residents of Bgy. Poblacion 3 told local authorities that they saw a crocodile at the seashore biting what appeared to be a man’s leg.
Members of the Balabac police, the Coast Guard and local barangay officials launched a search for the crocodile and the victim, and also sought the help of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the PCSD office in looking for the missing fisherman.
Apolinario said that around 5:20 p.m. last Wednesday, a local barangay councilor, Jalilon Malupa, reported the discovery of a man’s body at Sitio Buwal in Bgy. Malaking Ilog.
Officers who rushed to the site together with the missing man’s family and Mayor Al-Hazni Astami found a bloated male cadaver in prone position and the right arm and entire left leg already missing.
Apolinario said that the cadaver was positively identified by Reynaldo as that of his missing son after seeing identifying marks on the different parts of the victim’s body.
Cornelio’s body was brought to his house in Bgy. Poblacion 5.
The official said that through continuous search, local authorities on Saturday finally captured the killer crocodile, which is believed to be already 50 years-old.