Sunday January 6, 2013
Croc watch near Kota Kinabalu hospital
KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife authorities here are keeping watch on the monsoon drains near Queen Elizabeth Hospital for more crocodiles following the recent capture of a reptile at a nearby housing area.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu said the 2m-long crocodile caught at the nearby Kepayan Ridge flats on Jan 3 appeared to be smaller than the one spotted in the monsoon drain near the hospital last August.
“There is a likelihood that there could be more crocodiles in those drains. It is not easy to tell because stretches of the drains are covered,” he said yesterday.
The ditch in Kepayan Ridge area, he said, was connected to the monsoon drain near the hospital.
The department, he added, had caught a handful of the reptiles in the area but was still uncertain how the creatures ended up in the monsoon drains.
“In the wild, female crocodiles would swim up the tributary of a large river to lay their eggs on a grassy area,” he pointed out.
Dr Laurentius said the department had been receiving occasional alerts about the presence of crocodiles in the drains near the hospital and those at the Sabah Museum along Jalan Penampang for over 15 years.
Meanwhile, the department senior veterinarian Dr Sen Nathan said the captured crocodile, which was being kept at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, would eventually be released into Sungai Kinabatangan.
Dr Sen had headed a team from its Wildlife Rescue Unit to catch the crocodile with a noose after the animal was chased into the ditch from a culvert with help from the Fire and Rescue Services Department.