Dramatic footage shows how a 15ft long crocodile was caught with a goat meat fishing trap – just four days after it savaged a local fisherman.
Coast guards began hunting the 500kg reptile on Tuesday November 27 after the mutilated body of Cornelio Bonite, 33, was found on a river bank in the Palawan region, Philippines.
The victim’s right arm and left foot were missing – a hall mark sign that he had suffered an horrific death in the jaws of a croc.
Officials later confirmed that the captured saltwater crocodile is the one that killed Cornelio.
They have nicknamed the croc ‘Singko’, after the small village where it was caught.
A government statement said: ”Wildlife authorities here can confirm that ‘Singko’ is the problem crocodile that attacked and killed a fisherman recently in Balabac town, southern Palawan.”
Salvador Guion, crocodile hunting expert and chief of the technical section of the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (PWRCC), said the male saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) Singko is ”100 percent the accidental attacker” of fisherman Cornelio Bonete who was killed on November 28.
Footage taken by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre and the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development shows the epic hunt to catch the beast.
They first set up an elaborate crocodile trap with goat meat attached to a hook and long cable running to the shore some 50 metres away.
Then on Saturday (1/12) morning the croc was snared when it took the bait and locals reeled in the croc with the metal cable.
Wildlife workers hauled ashore the beast which taken into captivity – where vets will began the grim task of establishing what its last meal was.
Salvador Guion said they know this without subjecting the 15.6-foot crocodile to a gastric lavage that it had killed the fisherman.
He said: ”This analysis is based on our behavioural observation of the crocodile, then community information on what is the size of the crocodile that stays in the area, where the accidental attack happened. And considering other reports, the percentage is high that he is the attacker.
After securing the crocodile, he said, they went back to Carandungan Bay to get the reaction of the Bonete family since they personally saw the crocodile before the attack.
He said Efren Bonete, the eldest brother of the victim, confirmed that it was the problem crocodile because of a ”marking point on its tail”.
Salvador added: ”The victims’ brother said it is the crocodile that attacked his brother because of a wound on its tail. The crocodile got the wound when its tail hit the outrigger of the victim’s fishing boat.”
Singko has now been tagged and will be kept in captivity while conservationists study his behaviour. They hope to release him back into the wild in the future.