KABACAN, North Cotabato: Villagers in a remote barangay here have enjoyed watching a seven-footer Philippine crocodile that appeared, went missing and then reappeared again since Tuesday, officials said.
The crocodile, one of the country’s endangered species, was first seen at an irrigation dam in sitio Kinudal, Barangay Kilada, Matalam, North Cotabato which was adjacent to Barangay Dagupan, Kabacan, also in North Cotabato where it appeared twice, according to village councilman Renato Espino.
Espino said the villagers were stunned at first seeing the large reptile at 10 a.m. Tuesday as it dove into the irrigation canal when it noticed humans around.
The croc last reappeared at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Espino said Domingo Tamayo, a resident of Barangay Dagupan, first saw the croc beside the irrigation canal which had been silted.
Quoting Tamayo, Espino said the villagers did not do anything nor harm the crocodile for they were fully aware of the law prohibiting the capture of Philippine crocodiles.
”We just enjoyed crocodile watching but we are very careful, afraid it will attack humans,” Espino said.
He believed the crocodile came from Kabacan river that overflowed early this week due to heavy downpour and flooded seven low lying villages.
He said on three occasions that the villagers saw the reptile it had opened its mouth as if waiting for something to eat.
Espino said the village officials had already coordinated with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources since they do not know what to do if the reptile returns.
Last April a 2.7 meter long Philippine crocodile was captured in Mlang, also North Cotabato but later returned to its natural habitat in the Liguasan marshland. (PNA)