SANDAKAN: A crocodile trap and warning sign will be set up at Ulu Sungai Seguntor, Jalan Kandang Kuda, Kampung Melayu at Mile 8 Labuk Road here, following a crocodile attack on a 13-year-old boy on Monday afternoon.
Sabah Wildlife Department Sandakan chief officer Hussein Muin said the trap will be set up on Wednesday (today).
“Operation to locate the crocodile will start on Tuesday night. Tonight, we will also put up a sign to warn locals from going into the river,” he said.
A 13-year-old boy was severely injured by a crocodile attack while swimming at Ulu Sungai Seguntor here on Monday afternoon.
According to Hussein,this was the first time at Ulu Sungai Seguntor where reportedly a crocodile had attacked a human.
The incident took place on Monday afternoon when victim, Arsil Alkamal, and his cousin were taking a dip in the river near his aunt’s house at 12.30pm. Arsil was reportedly dragged into the river by the crocodile, but fortunately his cousin screamed aloud and villagers nearby quickly jumped in to save him. They managed to get the crocodile to release its grip on Arsil before pulling him away to safety.
According to witnesses, the crocodile was about 2.7 metres (eight feet) long and after the villagers got it to release its victim, it swam away from the scene.
Arsil suffered multiple injuries to his body and leg and was immediately taken to the Duchess of Kent Hospital for treatment.
Sandakan police chief, ACP Mohd Azhar Hamin, said, the boy was given 15 stitches on the right side of his chest, four on his back, five on his thigh and two on his knee.
Hussein said the medical team found two crocodile teeth lodged into Arsil’s knee after inspecting the scene and visiting the victim and his family members.
Meanwhile, Arsil has left from the hospital and is currently resting at home as his family is unable to afford the hospital fees. Arsil, an orphan, is taken care of by his grandmother, who is no longer working.
Arsil’s uncle, Omar Abdul Halim, said that they were unable to let Arsil stay longer at the hospital due to financial constraint. He is, however, sending Arsil to the hospital daily to get his injuries treated.
On the crocodile attack incident, Omar said that the villagers have seen the crocodile at the river once, with some claiming to have seen the crocodile attack a dog.
“That is why we never allow children to play in the river. Arsil will be caned by his grandmother for sure if she sees him near the river. However, Arsil’s grandmother was away that day (the day of the incident) and Arsil had gone to the river to play with his cousin,” he said.
Omar is now asking the public wishing to financially assist Arsil to visit them at Kampung Melayu or to contact him at 014-8542497.