A crocodile with a motorcycle tire stuck around its neck for six years has finally been freed by an Indonesian bird catcher in a tireless effort that wildlife conservation officials hailed as a milestone.
According to Huffington Post, the crocodile has become an icon to the people in Palu. The beast was seen on the city's river with the tire around its neck becoming increasingly tighter, running the risk of chocking her.
The reptile was spotted in 2016, generating sympathy among the residents and worldwide. In 2020, Australian crocodile wrangler, Matthew Wright and American wildlife biologist Forrest Galante tried and failed the reptile.
In early January, 35-year-old bird catcher and trader Tili, who recently moved to the city heard about the famous crocodile from his neighbors and determined to rescue the reptile after he saw her frequently sunbathing at a nearby estuary. He stringed ropes of various sizes into a trap tied to a tree near the river, and laid chickens, ducks, and birds as bait. After three weeks of waiting and several failed attempts, the crocodile finally fell into the trap. With the help of two of his friends, Tili pulled the reapped crocodile ashore and sawed through the tire.
It is unclear how the used motorcycle tire got stuck around the crocodile neck. Conservationists have said it was likely deliberately placed by people in a failed attempt to trap it as a pet or skin it for sale, but crocodiles and other swimming reptiles often travel into garage-studded waters with nothing to stop a tire from encircling them.
The saltwater crocodile is protected under Indonesian law.