An Indonesian crocodile that had been imprisoned in a tyre for more than five years was freed and released into the wild on Tuesday, according to officials and locals.
Operation croc rescue
Residents of Palu, Sulawesi, noticed the saltwater crocodile with a motorcycle tire around its neck in 2016, which sparked several conversations to try and lure the croc from the river.
Tili, a 34-year-old bird trader, said:
I just wanted to help, I hate seeing animals trapped and suffering
The bird trader used chicken as bait and ropes to trap the crocodile, which he then dragged to shore and cut the tyre around its neck with the aid of scores of residents.
I was already exhausted so I let them finish the rescue, the crocodile was unbelievably heavy, everybody was sweating and getting very tired.
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Returned back to the wild
Tili caught the crocodile before the authorities arrived, maybe because they had the necessary equipment to undertake rescue in the river, which is home to over 30 distinct species of crocodile.
Hasmuni Hasmar, head of the local conservation agency, expresses:
Yesterday was a historical day for us, we are grateful the crocodile was finally rescued and we appreciate the locals who showed concern for the wildlife.
There was also a prize offer on helping out the croc in 2020, but it was soon scraped out owing to the safety concerns of the reptile.
We will award Tili for his effort in rescuing the wildlife!
And to everyone's satisfaction, the croc was returned safely back into the wild.