At lunchtime we were received by the head of the Wildlife department in Palu. Here we received a lot of interesting information. This is the department that issued the recent competition to catch the croc, which it seems caused a lot of problems.
The local people consider the croc to be a relative. They are not happy with the idea of him being caught, even to help him by removing the tyre. They think of him as an icon - and he is.
Therefore, the head of the department will not issue a license to catch the croc, because he doesn't want to be blamed. The license must be issued by Jakarta.
Nevertheless, they had a small captive croc out the back which caused me distress because he is being used to practice...
There is already another team here from Australia who are helping them with advice and traps. I understand they are funded to the tune of $500,000 which slightly puts us in the shade! Nevertheless, they haven't been to meet the senior people in Palu which they should.
Afterwards, we went to the mouth of the river, where we could see three crocodiles and two people on the beach. Neither bothered the other. We understand that in Kupang there are no crocodiles, yet somebody is killed every month. Here there are lots and nobody has been hurt.
We were ambushed by journalists, and it seems they are waiting all over town. The Raja have them an interview.
We also received the news that the Mayor will meet us this afternoon. He is empowered to issue a licence, so we may not need to go to Jakarta.
#indonesia #palu #crocrescue