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Tuesday 11th February
Update posted by Rex Sumner On Feb 11

Today I am in a very different mood.

We have met all the senior dignitaries of Palu except the Mayor who wants to see us at lunchtime.

We have a licence to catch the crocodile after the current attempt.

But I don't want to catch it any more.

You see, this crocodile symbolises Palu. The people love it. There are toys of it in the shops. The people feel for this croc and cheer every time there is a failed capture attempt.

The only people who wish to catch it are foreigners.

Whenever I come to an area, I look to see what opportunities for development. Here at the neck of Sulawesi, there isn't much industry and I despair on natural resource exploitation. What is sustainable?

I am going to push the idea of a specialist crocodile reserve.

With the croc and his tyre as its icon.

There are 1,200 hectares of perfect croc habitat. There is a relationship with the locals who carry on their lives besides the animals, both unmolested. Plenty of hotels, we just need boats for tourist trips.

And other animals.

Well, this is Sulawesi, largest island in Wallacea. Home of the incredible, the weird, the unusual. The Black Celebes ape; the Babirusa - the pig-deer; the Anoa - the buffalo-deer and the Maleo fowl, a thermometer bird that can tell the temperature for its eggs. All of these are around here.

I am meeting again later with the head of tourism.

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