Search underway for boy believed to have been attacked by croc

PHOTO: The Star

KUCHING - Search and rescue operations are underway at the rural Sarawak coastal town of Spaoh, where an 11-year-old has gone missing.

Fakrul Dahari is believed to have been preyed upon by a crocodile along the riverbank at Kampung Bungin, according to a police report lodged by a villager.

"The incident occurred at around 2.30pm.The victim was dragged into the river and has not been seen since," said Mohd Rizuan Shah Othman in his report.

The village is more than 270km from Kuching. The nearest town, Betong, is about 40mins away by car.

The Fire and Rescue Department has dispatched trucks and speedboats from Betong to the scene.

Locals have been conducting their own search and rescue using fishing boats.

The story is being widely shared and commented about on social media.

There have been calls for the culling of crocodiles to prevent attacks.

Similar calls have been made for years.

In July, state Forest Department director Sapuan Ahmad told a local daily that culling was allowed but only when threats to life were clear.

"It is allowed and licence is needed. Applicants will have to specify the localities for culling. Size also matters. The hunters must go for those 12-feet and above," Sapuan was quoted as saying.

However, he also cautioned against irrational responses to incidents.

"There may be only one attack of crocodiles towards human beings every year but for car accidents, how many cases per month?"