There has been a gruesome mass cull of crocodiles in Indonesia after villagers took revenge for the death of a man, using machetes, knives and hoes to kill nearly 300 reptiles.
Sugito, who worked at a tofu factory in Sorong, West Papua, was looking for grass to feed his cattle on Saturday when he was bitten by a crocodile.
His screams alerted a local resident who ‘heard him shouting for help but [he] was found dead,’ Olha told The Jakarta Post.
After local villagers attended his funeral on Saturday, around 600 armed themselves with sharp implements and descended upon a crocodile farm, owned by Albert Siahaan, to avenge his death.
The bloody attack resulted in 292 baby and larger crocodiles, up to two metres in length, hauled from their water-filled enclosures and hacked to death with hoes, picks and other sharp tools.
Up to 40 police officers tried to stop the slaughter, but were outnumbered by the angry mob.
‘We couldn’t do anything. The situation was so tense,’ said Sorong police chief, Dewa Made Sutrahna, according to ABC News.
It was unclear whether the crocodile which bit Sugito has among those slaughtered.
'The residents used knives to slaughter the crocodiles,' Olha told The Jarkarta Post, adding, 'The crocodiles were caught and dragged outside and stabbed to death. It was so horrid to see.'
While no arrests were made, the farm’s owner and four other people were questioned by police, with officers suggesting that a security guard might have a negligence charge brought against him.
Basar Manullang, head of West Papua Natural Resources Conservation Agency, criticised the cruel revenge, saying: ‘The crocodile slaughter violated the law on destroying others’ property.’
He said the crocodile farm was lawfully run, as it had an official permit issued by the Environment and Forestry Ministry.
‘The permit is legal and the process [to obtain it] in Jakarta took a long [time]. There were steps and requirements to meet and it was under the authority of the local government.
‘The crocodile slaughter is obviously against the law.’
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.