Friday, June 25

First croc attack in Lawas, say Kampung Baru villagers

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A policeman consoles the victim’s relative who broke down after the body was recovered from the river at Kampung Baru in Lawas yesterday.

MIRI: The crocodile attack which killed a disabled man in Kampung Baru, Lawas on Sunday was the first case recorded in the district.

Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Lawas chief Zaki Hussin said yesterday that this was the information conveyed to search-and-rescue personnel by local villagers.

“According to the locals, there are two large crocodiles in the area that often surface. There are also plenty of younger, smaller crocs that we (Bomba) saw during the search-and-rescue operation for the victim on Sunday night,” he said.

He added that the increasing number of crocodiles in the area in recent years has undoubtedly resulted in conflicts with humans, and advised the community there to be extra careful when using the river to avoid future attacks.

To a question, Zaki said he was informed by villagers there that they had no choice but to fetch water from the river as some of them do not have access to piped water.

The incident on Sunday saw the victim, 45-year-old Efendy Panil, snatched by a crocodile and dragged into the river while fetching water together with his niece.

The niece, who witnessed the attack, alerted fellow villagers who then reported the matter to the authorities.

Rescuers yesterday located Efendy’s body around 6.40am, roughly 600 metres from where the attack took place.

There were no signs of injury on his body except for some cuts on his head.

The victim, a Lun Bawang from Indonesia, was still clad in his long trousers but was missing his shirt.

The body was handed over to the police following the discovery and sent to the hospital for a post-mortem.