By Taniya Dutta
A crocodile is still living painfully with a scooter tyre around its neck two years after it was first spotted with it in a river in Indonesia.
The poor reptile was first spotted by locals in Palu in 2016 when it had headed to the riverbank with the scooter tyre around its neck, gasping for air.
The now 13-feet crocodile, believed to be the nearly ‘virtually extinct’ Siamese crocodile, was again spotted two weeks ago by locals when it had come to the riverbank, peeking out of water helplessly for air.
Seven volunteers are working to help the crocodile, supervised by Central Sulawesi Natural Resource Conservation Agency but their attempts have gone into vain.
Several attempts to lure the crocodile to come onto the dry land have failed as it shows lack of interest in its bait- chickens.
Wildlife officials now worry that with its growing size the crocodile might die if the tyre, thought to be of a Vespa scooter thrown into the estuary, is not removed urgently.
Mr Mulyadi, an official with Indonesia Conservation Board said: “We have made a crocodile trap but cannot use it because we lack technical force capable of controlling wild crocodiles.
“We have tried to lure it with chicken or meat but it never touches it.
“This crocodile has grown to 4 meters in length and its head is about 40 centimeter long. Its body is getting bigger and the tyre which should be 14 inches, a commonly used motor typematic, is stifling it.
“If the tyre is not removed immediately, it will strangle the crocodile in next few months because of its growing body.”
In the visuals, a crowd of agonised locals is seen helplessly looking at the large crocodile as it struggles and nods head for breath.