Photographer surprised by 2m croc at Sungei Buloh

Photographer surprised by 2m croc at Sungei Buloh

In the still waters at Sungei Buloh nature reserve, crocodiles lurk, or so they heard.

Curious, nature photographer Mohamad Sulkhi, a 50-year-old operations manager, set out to look for the reptile.

But when he saw one, he was shocked - the beast was huge, about 2m long.

"When I looked through my camera lens at the crocodile, I saw a huge and menacing creature," said Mr Sulkhi.

"We were shocked at how big it was."

Mr Sulkhi was with his brother-in-law, Mr Ghazali Ramlan, when they spotted the crocodile on May 1.

They had finished taking pictures at the nature reserve at about 10.30am when they met a family of four. The family told them they had seen a crocodile at the water's edge about 25m away.

Mr Sulkhi's first instinct was to use his camera, with its 300mm lens, to zoom in on the crocodile.

By then, about 12 people had gathered and to gawk at what is believed to be a saltwater crocodile.

Mr Sulkhi snapped away for about half an hour before the crocodile, perhaps disturbed by all the human activity, slid back into the water.

Said Mr Ghazali, a school AV techinician: I've heard a lot about these crocodiles but I've never seen them here before. I was quite shocked and surprised."

Added Mr Sulkhi, who is a frequent visitor to Sungei Buloh: "Before that, the only things I saw were monitor lizards."

He said he often sees families with children going on morning walks at the reserve and added that many parents do not pay attention to where their children are going.

"They are not aware of the danger," he said.

"I tell my friends and other families who go to such areas to be careful as there may be large crocodiles around.

"You never know, the crocodile could crawl over the pathway and harm someone, especially kids."

Crocodiles have been appearing more often in parts of Singapore recently. This latest sighting follows the discovery of a dead crocodile, dubbed "Barney" by anglers, at Kranji reservoir last month.

"Barney" is believed to have been a saltwater crocodile that was about 3.6m long and weighed about 400kg.

Around 10 saltwater crocodiles are thought to live around Singapore's north-western coastline.

When contacted by The New Paper, NParks, which runs Sungei Buloh, declined to provide additional information about crocodiles in the area.

STAY CALM

It had previously advised visitors that should they encounter crocodiles, they should stay calm and back away slowly. Do not try to approach, provoke or feed it.

If you need help, call the Reserve Information Counter at 6794-1401.

colintzx@sph.com.sg

This article was published on May 9 in The New Paper.

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