A mob butchered more than 290 crocodiles in an act of revenge after a man was killed by one of the reptiles at a breeding farm in Indonesia, authorities said on Monday.
The incident took place in a village in Sorong district of West Papua province on Saturday after the man was buried. The 48-year-old was picking grass for animal feed when he entered an enclosure, AFP quoted the police and conservation officials as saying.
“One of the crocodile farm employees...heard someone screaming for help and ran to the scene where they saw a person being mauled by a crocodile,” said Basar Manullang, head of Indonesia’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency in West Papua.
After the burial, angry villagers went to the farm and used machetes, knives and shovels to slaughter 292 crocodiles, ranging from babies to full-grown crocodiles. Outnumbered police and conservation officials were unable to prevent the attack and said criminal charges could be brought against the villagers.
“For now we are still questioning the witnesses,” district police chief Dewa Made Sidan Sutrahna said.
Manullang told Reuters that the farm had been granted a licence to breed protected saltwater and New Guinea crocodiles in 2013 for their preservation under the condition that the animals did not disturb the community. “To prevent this from happening again, farming licence holders need to secure surrounding areas,” said Manullang.