SINGAPORE - Croc alert!
These beady-eyed creatures have increasingly been spotted in Singapore's northern wetlands.
Back in 2008, the National Parks Board confirmed "a resident pair" in the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.
But according to a report in The Straits Times in June, more saltwater crocodiles, the world's largest living reptiles and one of the most fearsome predators, have moved into Singapore waters.
Experts say up to 10 of the reptiles now live along Singapore's north-western coast.
Most are within the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, but some are known to roam the Kranji Reservoir too. Crocodiles were also spotted at the intake bund area at the reservoir, confirmed a spokesman from national water agency PUB.
On Aug 9, a few kayakers spotted two crocodiles sunbathing and another larger one at Lim Chu Kang, and posted the pictures on citizen journalism site Stomp.
A saltwater crocodile, also known as saltie, estuarine or Indo-Pacific crocodile, is the largest of all living reptiles, as well as the largest terrestrial predator in the world.
While the males can reach sizes of up to 7m and weigh as much as 2,000kg, the females are much smaller and often do not exceed 3m in length.
As its name implies, this crocodile can live in salt water, but can also live in brackish mangrove swamps, estuaries, deltas, lagoons and lower stretches of rivers.
Crocodiles are ambush hunters that rely on stealth to sneak up on their prey, and are extremely well camouflaged, says Mr Bernard Santhosh, assistant curator at the Singapore Zoo.
"They can easily be mistaken for a floating log," he says.
Salties have a fearsome reputation. In April this year, a man was attacked by a crocodile while swimming along a stretch of Australia's northern coast.