Air Force flies injured crocodile to capital for surgery at QC park

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MANILA, Philippines—A 10-foot crocodile with a wide gash near its belly was flown from its home in Indanan, Sulu, to Manila aboard a C-130 Philippine Air Force cargo plane to be treated for its injury.

The male saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), measuring 10.7 feet and about 15-20 years old, required a dozen men to lift it on to the operating table at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Rescue Center in Quezon City where it was taken.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) said the croc was caught by two fishermen in the Suba Datu river in the village of Buansa on Nov. 16.

One of the fishermen told the local environment officer that the crocodile had been fighting with another croc when they spotted and caught it, according to PAWB Director Mundita Lim.

The croc had a gaping wound straight across the base of its tail and another wound near one of the eyes, which has since healed. Lim said the crocodile likely was injured when the locals tied a rope too tightly around it.

“It has not eaten since November,” Lim said. But she wasn’t too worried as “Lolong,” the world’s largest captive crocodile in Bunawan town, Agusan del Sur, also waited more than a month before it was able to feed in its enclosure.

To Jolo, then Zamboanga

From Indanan, the large reptile was taken to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in Jolo, and then to Zamboanga City, where it received medical aid from local private veterinarian Dr. Anton Lim.

“But Dr. Lim recommended that it be taken to PAWB as they did not have the facilities to stitch up the wound,” Mundita Lim said.

She said her office then wrote the Air Force asking that it transport the crocodile to the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.

The Air Force responded and in one day flew the croc to Villamor Air Base, Lim said. The crocodile arrived in Manila at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday.

Lim said the crocodile’s wound would be stitched up and treated for infection.

It still looks quite active, resisting attempts to bind it and taking 12 men to carry it from the ground to the operating table. A rope was used to bind its jaws.

If the crocodile recovers, it will be brought back to the place where it was found, or if not, it will be taken to a breeding farm in Palawan.

“Definitely it will not stay in the Ninoy Park, since it was caught in the wild,” she said.

Unlike Bunawan’s Lolong, which was kept in an enclosure because it could pose a danger to people, this crocodile of the same species was not considered a nuisance yet, Lim said.

The crocodile has not been given a name yet, she added.

But she said there were suggestions to name it “Nur,” presumably after Nur Misuari, ex-Moro rebel leader and former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, of which Sulu is a part.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • vince_bugaboo

    Sinong “crocodile?” ‘Dami nila.
    Be specific, please, author.

  • Rovingmoron

    Take it to Congress!

  • Loggnat

    Does the Air Force provides the same service to a wounded poor farmer or any other poor citizens that requires to Manila or any other city that could treat him/her? If not!…. Actions like this should be done with low profile and definitely without fanfare or media release. Why? Figure it out yourself if you don’t know why!…. 

  • $17848434

    It (the crocodile) has lots of relatives in one of the Philippines’ ‘hallowed’ institutions named the Philippine Congress, the Senate, the military and the civil service hence the prompt and quality service.

  • catmanjohn

    Would it not have been better for the crocodile’s health, as well as the taxpayer’s expense, if the vets were flown down to Mindanao? Why all this hoopla? Besides, they have a crocodile farm in Davao that could have provided facilities to treat the wounded croc. 

  • boybakal

    Lugi pa sa gasolina at gastos ng PAF C- 130 para sa buwaya sa layo ng biyahe from Sulu to Manila.
    Dapat di na lang hinuli at pinabayaan na lang sa wild for natural healing.
    Simula kay Kabang, naging animal caring na ang mga Pinoy.

    May alaga akong Ibon Pipit malungkot ayaw magkakain, pwede kayang
    ilipad ng C130 from Jolo to Manila, para macheck up at operahan.

  • carlorocci

    Bakit hindi na lang congressman o kaya senator ang ipangalan?

    After treatment this animal should be released in the wild…

  • http://ourleftfoot.blogspot.com/ Tristanism

    The House of Representatives would like to extend its heartfelt appreciation to the DENR, PAF and all those who helped in making sure that the crocodile is taken care of. Be rest assured that your efforts will not be forgotten.

    You take care of us, we take care of you.

    (And I would like to apologize to crocodiles all over for this rather crass comment. )

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/XY4AW6ZJBAPIJ33L7KX6M3IOQI c

    my head aches from reading the comments. ang dami talagang reklamador na pilipino! when govt agencies do their work, may reklamo. pag di nagtrabaho, may reklamo. 

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