Brazen Crocodile Preys On A Philippine Town: ‘it Was Like He Was Showing Off’
The next morning, the snares were empty.
Crocodile hunts can go on for weeks, but living near people had made Singko bold, and that undid him in just two days.
In broad daylight, as noisy onlookers watched Mr. Guion mend a broken snare, Singko leapt from the water and snapped up the goat steak dangling over the surface.
As he dragged the bait underwater, the snare tightened around his jaw, snapping the poles and tearing the trap apart. The crocodile hunters tugged at the trap’s rope and heaved him onto land.
With the help of dozens of townspeople and a pulley, Mr. Guion’s team lifted Singko — 15.7 feet long, 1,050 pounds and estimated to be 50 years old — onto a flatbed truck to be driven to Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan Province, where he will live out his life in a swampy pen.
Not everyone in Balabac was happy about the capture.
To the Molbog, a Muslim tribe indigenous to the area, crocodiles are sacred, the embodiment of their ancestors. The Molbog word for crocodile, opo, is the same one they use for their grandparents.
“Crocodiles must be respected,” said Dianauya Diaz, 67, a Molbog elder.
“They can try to catch them, but they will not disappear,” Ms. Diaz added. “By taking Singko, they planted the seeds of vengeance in his children and grandchildren.”
Conservationists have found that such cultural veneration of crocodiles, also practiced by other Indigenous groups in the Philippines, encourages peaceful coexistence.