Almost 300 crocodiles at a sanctuary in Indonesia were slaughtered by the hands of an angry mob who were seeking revenge.
Over the weekend, a group of villagers from the Indonesian province of West Papua reportedly stormed the local crocodile sanctuary armed with knives, hammers, and clubs to avenge the death of a local man thought to have been killed by one of the animals from the site.
An unnamed man in his 40s was killed while gathering vegetables on the crocodile farm’s breeding sanctuary on Friday morning, according to Reuters.
“An employee heard someone screaming for help, quickly went there and saw a crocodile attacking someone,” Basar Manullang, the head of Indonesia’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency in West Papua was quoted as saying.
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Following the man’s burial on Saturday, the villagers proceeded to the property and killed a total of 292 crocodiles at the farm.
Authorities were unable to prevent the slaughter but are now mulling to press charges. In Indonesia, killing a protected species is a crime which is punishable by a fine or imprisonment.
Manulang noted that while the farm had a license to breed some types of crocodiles, the reptiles were not supposed to disturb the community.
“To prevent this from happening again, farming license holders need to secure surrounding areas. Crocodiles are God’s creatures that need to be protected too,” Manullang said.
His agency is now coordinating with police in their investigation.