Environment and law enforcement authorities load the six-foot sub-adult saltwater crocodile to a boat to release it in a river in Brgy. Melville, Balabac on May 13, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Jojoh Montalba and Briones Castillo Noa)

BALABAC, Palawan — A 6-foot saltwater crocodile trapped in a water tank was rescued Wednesday morning by environment and law enforcement authorities at Sitio Monsod, Barangay Melville in this island town in southern Palawan.

Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) wildlife traffic monitoring officer Jonathan Montalba said the sub-adult female crocodile fell inside the water tank while it was chasing a duck.


The sub-adult saltwater crocodile is seen trapped inside an old water tank in Brgy. Melville. (Photo courtesy of Rainier Manalo)

It was released back to a river at Sitio Paitan, Brgy. Melville on the same day after two hours of rescue operations.

The crocodile was rescued on May 13 by elements of the Balabac Special Boat Unit (SBU) and troops from the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4).

Montalba said the rescue was difficult because the crocodile was not responding to the rope that the rescuers initially tried to use.


A wildlife rescuer holds the tale of the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) after it was rescued from an old water tank in Brgy. Melville, Balabac. The wild animal fell inside the tank after chasing a duck. (Photo courtesy of Jojoh Montalba and Briones Castillo Noa)

“Hindi agad siya naiakyat, siguro mahina ang katawan niya kaya hindi siya nagre-respond sa tali na sana ay maiakyat siya. Mainit ang tubig sa old tank kaya siguro mahina ang katawan niya,” Montalba told Palawan News.

The rescue and release operation was performed by a team from the Balabac SBU led by P/SSg. Noli Andrew Briones, a professionally trained crocodile first responder, along with Pat. Rex Galang of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), MBLT-4, Philippine Army CAA and SCAA, and PCSDS.