The crocodile in Palu with a motorcycle tyre around his neck is a worldwide story. Concern is mounting that as he gets bigger it will interfere with his breathing and indeed eventually kill him.
Many attempts have been made to rescue him, none have succeeded. He's survived attempts by all manner of people and has become wary.
Yet few know the back story, assuming this is another example of pollution.
"The Kaili people are indigenous to Palu and Donggala and surrounding areas. When the tsunami hit, the Kaili elders had warned the local government not to go ahead with the Namoni festival being held on the beach front as they said it was commercialising a sacred ritual meant to cleanse the local people of disease. It's known as the Balai. For two years previously heavy rain resulting in floods hit after the festival. On the third year the prediction was that this would be worse.
The third year was of course the Tsunami which hit as the festival finished. The ritual Balai is meant to appease sea gods. The local govt was blamed for inciting Satan on the people.The Islamic people both Kaili and Bugis blamed the old traditional ritual. There were slogans spray painted all over town blaming the Walikota etc. BUT..the most interesting thing is that legend has it from dukuns (traditional spirit workers) is that three things would occur, the wave of water, the opening up of the earth and earth turning to mud ie the liquefaction and a crocodile would appear at the mouth of the river when the water receded. Which it did... and is why the crocodile is considered sacred. There are some quite good stories on youtube about this from journal and locals
There are also parts of the Balai festival where women are possessed by crocodiles Theres more misteries happenings in Palu due to its geographical position. Btw I am married to a Bugis from the Royal family in South Sulawesi but they came in the late sixties and took over Donggala." This is from an Australian lady, Clarissa Hunter.
Bali Reptile Rescue is an organisation working to save King Cobras from locals for whom I volunteer. They were asked by the Indonesian Government through the Wildlife Department to rescue the crocodile. This request was backed by the local Kaili people on the condition the crocodile is not harmed and is released back to the same area. They also wish to conduct a ceremony to bless the crocodile.
Bali Reptile Rescue contacted some Australian teams and one agreed to come, funding the operation themselves. Sadly, although BRR arranged permits for them, they have backed out and now BRR must conduct the operation alone. They asked me for help, in my capacity as Assistant to Raja Samu Samu, the Secretary General of the Association of Indonesian Kings. We have a degree of influence in Palu, where the Raja was at the time of the Tsunami and he assisted with the relief.
We fly into Palu on Sunday 9th February 2020 and the Raja has arranged a reception on Monday to meet his team of croc hunters, where we shall be greeted by the main people in Palu, including the Walikota and the Chief of Police.
In the afternoon we shall conduct a ceremony beside the river with the local Kaili priests and Risma, a Dayak princess with a connection to crocodiles. After that, we shall be in the hands of BRR and the two Australian experts they have brought along, including Corey Wild. The Raja returns to Jakarta on Tuesday, having ensured we have total cooperation from the local authorities.
We lack professional photographers or videographers, but we shall share what is happening from our amateur phones.
Sadly, none of the principals in this can afford the expense of going to rescue the crocodile, so this page is an attempt to defray the personal costs we shall experience, especially from the funds of Bali Reptile Rescue. We have no time or opportunity to plan properly, as this has all happened in the last few days and frankly I have no idea what I am doing right now,never having set up a crowd fund appeal before! But I have been encouraged to do so by friends.
All monies will be used to pay for the expenses of those involved in this rescue. Flights are about $300 each, except for one from Australia which is more. The Raja's stay in Palu will cost about $500 for accommodation of himself and his retinue, food and travel locally. The rest of us will cost about $50 a day each, five of us, although a sixth is planned to join. We don't know how long it will take. Any surplus funds raised will go towards the new Royal Foundation I am setting up with Raja Samu Samu to breed endangered Indonesian wildlife. The Raja is an ardent conservationist, working tirelessly to preserve the heritage of Indonesia.This Foundation targets communities to preserve and breed one particular species, and the community is rewarded by tourism to see this species. Thus we involve local people in protecting their own wildlife.