Crocodile spotted at East Coast Park caught, relocated to Sungei Buloh
A 1.53m-long crocodile spotted yesterday by anglers at East Coast Park has been caught and relocated.
It was filmed swimming in a canal near Fort Road. The clip was shared on Facebook group Singapore Wildlife Sightings and has gained over 1,000 responses.
In response to The Straits Times, Dr Adrian Loo, group director of wildlife management at the National Parks Board (NParks), said NParks staff, volunteers and contractors found it after receiving reports.
He said: "The crocodile was removed and relocated to the core area of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve for the safety of the public."
"The core area of the Wetland Reserve is not accessible to the public and comprises about 150 ha of wetland habitats including mangroves and mudflats," he added.
"Estuarine crocodiles occur naturally in the wild in Singapore. They feed and rest in brackish and freshwater areas, and are usually found in the water or on mudflats away from visitor routes."
Mr Law Ing Sind, co-founder of the Herpetological Society of Singapore that studies reptiles and amphibians, said sightings of the creature outside of Sungei Buloh are usually sporadic but have been confirmed in Changi, Pasir Ris and Sembawang. These are likely to be displaced individuals, which do not stay long in the area, he added.
He said: "Saltwater crocodiles are usually restricted to Sungei Buloh where there are large tracts of mangrove forest, which provide a large prey base in the form of fishes to sustain a resident population."
A crocodile of the size in the clip would indicate it is a juvenile and that its population in Singapore is most likely reproducing here, he said.
"This is actually good news as this species is regarded as critically endangered locally."
This is not the first time the authorities have captured a crocodile.
On Feb 23, 2019, NParks and national water agency PUB caught a 1.7m-long crocodile in Lower Seletar Reservoir and relocated it into the wild.
NParks says on its website that the public are advised to stay calm and back away when they see a crocodile.
Do not approach, provoke or feed it. Call NParks on 1800-471-7300 or PUB on 9632-3261 to report such encounters.