Suspected ‘problem crocodile’ moved to PWRCC

(Photo courtesy of Rizzie Ancheta/ File photo))

The 15.6-foot saltwater crocodile that was trapped in an estuary in Balabac town over the weekend is already at the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (PWRCC) in Barangay Irawan, where it will be kept in an enclosure.

Using a boom truck from the provincial government, the 500-kilo male saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) arrived at the facility at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday to undergo “gastric lavage,” said Ronie Gandeza, the PWRCC director.

Gandeza said the procedure will help prove whether or not it is the “problem crocodile” that was responsible for attacking and killing 23-year old fisherman Cornelio Bonete sometime between November 27 and 28 in Barangay Malaking Ilog.

The provincial government boom truck that was used to transport the 15.6-foot male saltwater crocodile captured in Balabac on December 1, 2018.

The crocodile was placed to undergo the stomach flushing procedure right after it arrived at the conservation center.

“Para dire-diretso na ‘yong paghihirap noong buwaya. Papahingahin lang konti tapos iga-gastric lavage [na] para dire-diretso na. Ang hirap kung ilalagay mo sa pen tapos huhulihin na naman,” Gandeza said.

Gastric lavage is the process of flushing out the contents of the stomach of the crocodile to determine if it consumed human parts, he said.

Gandeza said the crocodile will be placed inside a separate pen enclosure in the breeder area of the PWRCC.

It will be with 255 other saltwater and freshwater breeder crocodiles that are also kept in separate pens.

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