Balabac authorities have presumed the missing girl attacked by a crocodile may already be dead, but are continuing their search.
“Tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang paghahanap kasi kami dito ay may kasabihan na after three days ng pagkakain nya ay iluluwa nya pero hanggang ngayon wala pa rin kaming nakikita na kahit damit man lang na lumutang,” Kamaria Ami, Barangay Captain of Catagupan, Balabac said Tuesday.
The victim, 12-year old Esnida Laja Laja, was snatched by a crocodile in the presence of her two younger sisters while they were crossing a bamboo footbridge in Sitio Tukanigalo last November 9.
Cruzalde Ablaῆa, Provincial DRRMO Program Manager, recently expressed concern that the area may no longer be safe for local residents because the crocodiles have been disturbed from their known mangrove habitat.
However, Ami said incidents are alarming but most local residents prefer to stay because it is their only source of livelihood.
“Sa ngayon po kasi wala tayong magagawa na kung ano, kasi ‘yong hanapbuhay kasi ng mga tao ay dito sa tubig. Wala naman atang ibang kabuhayan doon sa lupa,” she said.
She noted that crocodiles were previously known to be preying on livestock but may have become more aggressive that they now also target humans.
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