Trio spotted kayaking in Sg Buloh reserve

Trio spotted kayaking in Sg Buloh reserve
A couple who was canoeing with their child was spotted trespassing into the crocodile infested waters of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

NATURE photographer Ben Lee was in the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in Kranji on Sunday afternoon when he zoomed in on an unusual sight: a couple and child kayaking in an inlet in the reserve.

The man, who was not wearing a life jacket, was dangling his legs over the side of the boat.

Canoes and kayaks are not allowed in the nature reserve as they may disrupt wildlife.

"It is not just the illegal trespassing that worries me - there is also a safety concern," said Mr Lee, 52, the founder of outdoor exploration group Nature Trekker.

The area is home to a number of wild saltwater crocodiles.

Male saltwater crocodiles generally grow to 5m from snout to tail, and weigh about 450kg.

Last April, a 400kg giant, probably one of the largest to have roamed wild here in decades, was found dead on the Kranji Reservoir grounds.

It is believed to have been killed by poachers.

Mr Subaraj Rajathurai, director of Strix Wildlife Consultancy, stressed that the reptiles will not attack humans unless provoked.

"But feet dangling in the water could look like fish, which is a crocodile's natural prey," he warned.

Mr Lee spotted the trio while he was conducting a photography session at about 2.30pm.

When contacted, the National Parks Board (NParks) said it was aware of the incident.

Said NParks' deputy director of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Mr How Choon Beng: "NParks officers noticed two adults and a child kayaking within Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on Sunday afternoon.

"When advised by our officers, they were cooperative and immediately left the boundaries of the Reserve."

He also reminded visitors to keep within the designated land trails when visiting the reserve.

audreyt@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on May 19, 2015.
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