Victim’s bro confirms killer croc

PWRCC team leader Salvador Guion (middle) secures male saltwater crocodile "Singko" after it capturing it on 1 December 2018, in Carandungan Bay, Barangay Poblacion 5, Balabac. A rug covers the eyes of the crocodile to calm it from being aggressive during the extraction process. (Photo courtesy of the PWRCC/PCSDS)

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — Wildlife authorities here confirmed Wednesday that “Singko” is the problem crocodile that attacked and killed a fisherman recently in Balabac town, southern Palawan.

Salvador Guion, crocodile hunting expert and chief of the technical section of the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (PWRCC), said male saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) Singko is 100 percent the “accidental attacker” of Balabac fisherman Cornelio Bonete who was killed on November 28.

He said they know this without subjecting the 15.6-foot crocodile to a gastric lavage.

Singko was caught using a cable snare trap with goat meat in the afternoon of Dec. 1 at Carandungan Bay, Poblacion 5, Balabac by the PWRCC team he led.

After securing the crocodile, he said, they went back to Carandungan Bay to get the reaction of the Bonete family since they personally saw the crocodile before the attack.

He said Efren Bonete, the eldest brother of the victim, confirmed that it was the problem crocodile because of a “marking point on its tail.”

“He said it is the crocodile that attacked his brother because of a wound on its tail. The crocodile got the wound when its tail hit the outrigger of the victim’s fishing boat,” Guion said.

Meanwhile, PWRCC director Ronie Gandeza explained that veterinarian Dr. Terry Aquino ruled against conducting the gastrointestinal decontamination on “Singko” because it was already stressed at that time it was transported to their facility.

Aquino recommended the crocodile’s immediate release from its safety enclosure to prevent it from being seriously affected by the stress it suffered since it was captured.

Gandeza said the PWRCC team was already “sure” that it was the problem crocodile, so it was agreed upon that gastric lavage test to determine the content of its stomach is no longer necessary.

p: wjg