Croc attack


Friday, April 20th, 2007

Croc attack
By Philip Kiew

BAKONG: A timber worker was believed to have been grabbed and killed by a crocodile while taking his bath in Sungai Kulat in Bakong, Lower Baram Wednesday evening.
This is the second crocodile attack at the same spot in less than two years after a surveyor from the same logging company was grabbed and killed under similar circumstances in May 2005.

In the latest incident, timber scaler Jamhari Hamdan, 24, of Kampung Kuala, Oya, had just finished bathing in the river in front of the timber camp, and was about to leave at 6.30 pm when monstrous jaws grabbed his legs and dragged him under water.

A fellow worker, who identified himself only as Kaderi, claimed seeing the horrifying incident unfold before his eyes and Jamhari disappearing into the water.

Earlier on, he and another fellow worker identified as Saga, took bath at the same spot without any incident.

The witness was sitting on the bank when he saw the attack at the place which is about an hours drive by 4WD and another hour boat ride from the water intake point in Bakong.

Kaderi ran to fetch the victims elder brother Saini at the staff quarters and camp workers immediately mounted a search and rescue operation in two boats and a tugboat.

The search parties sought out a possible crocodile lair upriver and downriver at the scene of attack.

Meanwhile, the deceaseds elder brother called to inform Miri police of the incident hours after it happened and lodged an official report yesterday.

The case was referred to Marudi police as Bakong is under its jurisdiction. A party of five police officers and men went to the scene, assisted by Bomba personnel, to join in the SAR operation yesterday afternoon.

According to sources, a big crocodile with an object, which looked like a human arm in its mouth, was spotted upriver at midnight by the timber camps search party assisted by spotlight on the tugboat.

It was claimed the blare of a horn caused the crocodile to disappear into the darkness. The search was only called off at about 4 am, and resumed at about 6 30 am yesterday morning.

Another fellow worker, who identified himself only as Sagat, claimed this was the second attack from the same spot involving timber camp workers since May 2005.

There were uncanny similarities in both incidents, as the first victim was also attacked while taking his bath at the spot at about 6 pm, and his body was only recovered the next day only a stone throw away from the scene of attack.

Sagat said crocodiles were frequently spotted surfacing along the stretches in front of the timber camp where the workers took their bath. The first incident only spooked workers for a few months before they returned to the same spot to bathe.

There are at least three crocodiles up and down this stretch and one must be over 10 feet as the distance between the vertical height of an eye is about two inches, he recounted of sightings by workers using torchlight.

At the first incident, everyone was scared to bathe in the river and the company prepared a pond, but after a few months, everyone was back at the river until the latest incident, he said.

Deputy Marudi OCPD ASP James Raymond confirmed receiving the report of the incident from the victims fellow workers and said efforts was being made to find the crocodile which allegedly attacked Jamhari.

His fellow worker reported seeing the victim being grabbed by a crocodile and disappearing in the blink of an eye, he said.

Efforts are continuing to locate the victim.

He pointed out that there had been a few cases of crocodile attacks in Bakong in past years.

In 2001, a 10 year-old boy was killed in a crocodile attack in Niah River and the reptile killed was later found to be about 15 feet, and the different parts of the victims limb were recovered from the belly after it was opened up by the angry father.

Meanwhile, Wilfred S Landong, general manager of Protected Areas & Biodiversity Conservation (PABC) of Sarawak Forestry Council ( SFC) when contacted said a special task force had been formed to investigate the latest incident and will be heading to the scene.

We need to confirm that the report has been lodged, and if the crocodile attack was proven, only then can we take the next course of action according to the stipulated procedures and regulations, he said.

He urged the public not to act rashly or to take action on their own as the specie is protected under Sarawak Wildlife Ordinance, and killing one without permission constituted an offence.

Only two species found in Sarawak out of the 22 worldwide Crocodylus porosus, the estuarine crocodile which is commonly known as buaya katak and Tomistoma schlegelii are protected under the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998.

The Bakong incident was the second crocodile attack in Sarawak in a weeks span, after a villager in Debak, Betong was maimed while paddling his boat at Sungai Rimbas.

The victim who was bitten at the hip, however, survived to tell the story.

There has been nearly 60 attacks officially reported to the Wildlife department or SFC in the last 25 years, with most involving people taking a dip and swimming in rivers or casting fish nets and wading in waist-deep stretches of rivers



Seems like the food source got really low, now it is turning to anything that baths next to the river’s…

they got no choice to mandi there oso…
can use baldi n gayung ka?
collect d water then mandi

The Universe just tipped everything in favor of the crocodile. It doesn’t make the crocodile ‘bad’. Too bad for the guy though…

Actually, i spoke to some of my indonesian workers here… wat they told me is that we can try attract the croc to come close to us by breaking an egg into the river… the croc will be able to smell the egg and then they will come to the area…-

Not sure if this is true or not… and please don’t ask me if I had try it oledi or not ok… :wink:

Have you tried it smallee??

Nature is fighting back. Against the timber industry.

Nope… don’t dare to try it here because it is too dangerous and too high risk… in the river we are working… too many crocs la…hehe…