Psychics, Australian animal rescuers and a celebrity adventurer have all failed to free a crocodile stuck with a motorcycle tyre around its neck for more than three years, but Indonesian authorities are not prepared to give up yet.
The saltwater crocodile was first spotted with the tyre in a river running through the provincial capital of Palu in 2016. At the time, officials feared that the tyre would strangle the reptile as it grew bigger.
Hasmuni Hasmar, the head of conservation in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province, is offering a reward for an expert who can end the animal’s suffering.
“Whoever can remove the tyre around the crocodile’s neck will be rewarded,” Hamuni said, adding that the money will come from his own pocket. “It’s quite substantial.”
But he’s not publicizing the amount of the reward, fearing such a move could attract people without skills to come forward and endanger themselves.
“It will draw reckless people to come and this is dangerous because there are about 36 crocodiles in the area,” he said.
In 2018, a celebrity animal rescuer, Panji The Adventurer, and his crew tried to lure the animal on to dry land, but their attempts failed.
Before that, local authorities had enlisted local sorcerers and even members of an Australian conservation group, but to no avail.
It’s not as simple as just using a tranquilizer to subdue the crocodile, Hasmuni says.
“If we go down there, other crocodiles can attack us,” he said.