(File Photo)

A 15-year-old boy died after getting attacked by a crocodile in Sitio Calogcog, Barangay Ramos, Balabac town last Saturday evening, October 2.

Reports from Balabac MPS said the victim and his three other companions who are all residents of Barangay Salang, were catching fish using a spear gun when the crocodile suddenly appeared from out of nowhere and attacked them. They quickly climbed into their motorbanca but the crocodile was able to reach the victim, bit him on the head, and brought him underwater.

“Namalakaya sila, apat sila sa bangka doon. Maliban doon sa namatay dalawa pa sa kasamahan niya ang may mga gasgas na natamaan ng ngipin ng buwaya at isa naman ng buntot. Pero ok naman sila,” P/L.t Argen Zabanal, Balabac MPS chief said.

(Photo from PPPO)

After receiving the report about the incident, Balabac Municipal Police Station (MPS) coordinated with Philippine Coast Guard and Balabac Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) to conduct a search and rescue operation.

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“Alas 9 ng gabi sila inatake, mga past 10:36 dumating ang report sa amin, agad kami nakipag-coordinate sa mga involved agency and immidiately nag-dispatch kami. Sakay ng lantsa nagsagawa kami ng operation ng buong gabi, pero hindi namin nakita,” Zabanal said.

The body of the victim was found and recovered with the help of fishermen in the area at 9:19 in the morning the following day.

“Kinabukasan napag-isipan ko na ikutin ulit ang area katuwang namin ang mangingisda at mga kaanak ng biktima. Una sinisid siya ng manual lang pero di kinaya dahil sa lakas na din ng current ng tubig, tapos iniisip ko baka bigla na naman umatake ang buwaya, kaya ang ginawa namin gumamit na kami ng compressor,” Zabanal said. “Bandang 9:19, ‘yung sumisid gamit ang compressor, nakita ang katawan ng biktima sa ilalim. Hindi pala siya lumitaw kasi yung sibut ( net na nilalagyan ng isda na napana) niya sumabit sa bato,” he added.

Meanwhile, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) spokesperson Jovic Fabello said the crocodile attack is the third incident in the town this year.

He explained that the crocodile might have been on the defensive mode as it did not eat any part of the victim’s body.

“Kasi wala namang naputol o napigtas sa katawan ng tao. Nakakalungkot lang dito na noong hinabol sila ng buwaya nakagat siya sa ulo. Pag kinagat ka kasi ng buwaya, maglo-lock yan, dadalhin ka sa ilalim, ang magiging cause of death mo ay malulunod ka, at fracture sa ulo,” Favello stated.

He also clarified that crocodiles become active at night, that’s why they keep on reminding fishermen to refrain from going to areas where crocodiles are frequently sighted.

“Ang kaso kasi ng apat ay namamana pa sila. Ang mga past incidents kasi natin ng pag atake puro namamana din ng gabi. Itong nangyari sa apat, malamang kung saan sila namana ay malapit lang ito sa teritoryo ng mga buwaya, kaya ang nangyari siguro na-threatened yun kung bakit may tao doon,” Fabello explained.

He further stated that September is the end of crocodiles’ breeding season and the date of the attack is within the borderline, where they are still considered as aggressive.

“Ito kasi ang panahon na naglikligawan sila, manginitlog, magkakaanak kaya aggressive sila,” he said.

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covers the police beat and other law enforcement agencies in the province. Her interest includes traveling and photography.