Tourists and surf rescue on Bali’s famous Legian Beach had the surprise of their life on Wednesday afternoon when a saltwater crocodile appeared on the shoreline. The incident occurred on Legian Beach at around 3 pm. The crocodile was first spotted by the Badung Balawista lifeguard, who thought that driftwood had been carried to the sand. The team quickly sprung into action when they realized the ‘log’ was a crocodile making its way to the shore.
Videos of the rescue and evacuation mission are being shared widely online by locals and international visitors who found the whole situation to be of much excitement. Officials have confirmed that Legain’s Padma Beach is now safe and that the crocodile has been safely removed. Wildlife conservationists are not anticipating any more crocodiles swimming to the shorelines of the southern coast.
The Badung Balawista team is known for being friendly and funny. Often when they rescue a tourist from the water who went into the sea, ignoring red flag warnings, they film a jokey video reminding them not to do it again once they know they’re safe and well. On the 4th of January, however, the Badung Balawista team got to be heroes in a new way.
Lifeguards jumped into action as soon as they saw the crocodile on the shoreline. They grabbed sticks and rope to create makeshift equipment to secure the crocodile while the authorities were called. They secured the crocodile’s jaw and dragged it onto the sand, where they could then secure its legs. Thankfully, the BKSDA wildlife rescue teams were able to arrive at the beach quickly.
The Badung Balawista team supported the BKSDA wildlife rescue officers to safely remove the crocodile from Legian Beach. During the rescue mission, the BKSDA teams were able to identify the crocodile by the scar on its head. The crocodile was released by the BKSDA three years ago and was last seen on Mertasari Beach in Sanur. It has now been taken into the care of the BKSDA, who will now discuss where, when, how and even if to release the crocodile into the wild again.
Badung Balawista have posted online naming the team responsible for keeping the public safe from the crocodile on Wednesday. They thanked, Dewa Juliarta, Made Karlitos, Edy Sumarita, Wayan Swardana, Ketut Kumba, Mogik Byantara, the visitors at the beach, and the BKSDA.
In a video shared by local photographer, I Wayan Riski Darmawan, local community leader, Ibu Lurah Legian, confirmed that the beach was now safe. She said ‘the crocodile has been secured today which were found in part by the BKSDA team for the province of Bali. Legian Beach is safe and comfortable to be visited by foreign tourists and domestic tourists who are on a visit or are traveling to the area. Thank you”.
It is believed that the crocodile from today’s incident is a wild crocodile and is not a captive animal that has escaped from its enclosure. Wildlife enthusiasts have commented online that the crocodile doesn’t appear in good health, noting that it is skinny and lethargic.
In June 2021, a crocodile was spotted in the Sangsang River in Lebih Village, in Gianyar Regency. During this incident, the BKSDA teamed up with reptile specialists from Bali Safari and Marine Park. At the time, teams shared with the press how unusual it was to find a crocodile so far in-land.
Although the salt waters around Bali can be suitable for saltwater crocodiles, the inland wetlands of Bali are not ideal for freshwater crocodiles like Marsh Muggers or the critically endangered Siamese Crocodile.
In 2016 a crocodile was found in an irrigation canal in Bali’s Jembrana Regency. It was later confirmed that the crocodile was around six months old, and about 60 cm in length. Officials from the BKSDA believed that the crocodile was one’s pet that either escaped or was dumped in the subak system.
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