I am dismayed at the quick disposal of the saltwater crocodile's carcass found in Kranji Reservoir ("Bye, bye Barney"; last Sunday).
Crocodiles are a very hardy species - especially one weighing 400kg - with an average life span of about 70 years. It is rare for them to die of disease in a natural habitat.
The circumstances surrounding the death of the crocodile, nicknamed Barney by anglers, surely would have raised alarm and merited further investigation, especially an autopsy to determine the cause of its premature death. It should also trigger a warning of the possibility of some ecosystem anomalies.
What is the existing modus operandi when the carcass of an animal belonging to a significant wildlife species is found? Why wasn't expert advice sought in Barney's case? And why wasn't the carcass considered for preservation? Did the authorities determine whether it was deliberately poisoned? And how was the carcass disposed of?
Can the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority comment?
Letter by Edmund Lam (Dr)
This article was published on May 11 in The Straits Times.
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