Indonesian villagers kill 292 crocodiles in revenge attack

Indonesian police on Monday started an investigation into the mass slaughter of crocodiles at a breeding farm by angry farmers after one of them was fatally attacked by a reptile last week. The attack happened on Friday when the 48-year-old farmer entered a crocodile sanctuary in Klamalu, Sorong district, for gathering grass for his cattle. After his funeral on Saturday, villagers armed with machetes, hammers and shovels went to the breeding pond and killed 292 crocodiles, some measuring up to 4 meters and others just about 50-150 centimetres. Although around 40 police officers arrived on the scene responding to a call, they had to retreat as they were heavily outnumbered by the mob. They returned to the neighbourhood later to interview witnesses but no arrests have been made. Crocodiles are a protected species in Indonesia and killing them is illegal. The local cell of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency is helping the police with the investigation. Individuals have been given licence to run the crocodile sanctuary on the condition that the reptile do not pose any threat to locals, said Basar Manullang, chief of the local conservation cell.