Huge croc found dead at riverbank

The 1,000-kg carcass of the huge crocodile that floated to the riverbank in Kuala Selangor

KLANG, Malaysia - A huge crocodile floated to the riverbank in Kuala Selangor. But everyone can relax because the 6m-long beast was already dead.

The carcass, weighing about 1,000kg, still caused a stir among villagers at nearby Kampung Belimbing and on social media.

A number of people came out to view and pose with the dead crocodile, a species known locally as buaya tembaga and elsewhere as the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus).

Several pictures of the carcass were shared online via Facebook and Twitter, and a set was also sent to Metro Online Broadcast, a citizen journalism news portal (mob.com.my) run by StarMetro.

The carcass was discovered near the Jalan Tok Empat Masjid jetty by two anglers on Tuesday night. Villagers later alerted the Selangor Wildlife Department.

The department took the carcass to the Sungai Dusun Wildlife Conservation Centre for study. An official with the department had expressed surprise at the size of the crocodile.

A check on the Internet showed that Crocodylus porosus is the largest living reptile and most aggressive of all crocodiles.

Males like this one can grow up to 7m in length and weigh up to 2,000kg.

Measuring crocodile age is unreliable but this species is estimated to live around 70 years on average, according to Wikipedia.

Dr S. Vellayan, a former head veterinarian at Zoo Negara, said the crocodile could have died from long-term exposure to toxic waste in the river.

"From the photographs I saw, it did not appear to be injured," he said.

There is nothing extraordinary about the size of the crocodile, according to him.

"There are similar-sized crocodiles at a zoo in Langkawi," Dr Vellayan said.

He is now a lecturer with Universiti Teknologi Mara and teaches about wildlife.

But the burning question that's probably on everyone's mind is how many handbags, shoes and belts could come from the carcass' skin?

Perish the thought because the Wildlife Department is planning to preserve the carcass for display.

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