I don’t know what is going on this year. It seems crocodiles are keeping us busier than orangutans: this weekend’s little extra curricula activity was dissecting a large saltwater crocodile that died after being caught in a fisherman’s net.
Stephen and Mr Hudi with the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus).
An already unpleasant task was made more so by the fact that, by the time the crocodile arrived in Pangkalan Bun, it was bloated and starting to decay. Miss Ully, our office manager who came along out of interest, caught one whiff of the crocodile and promptly vomited. I gagged twice during the dissection.
Saltwater crocodile (crocodylus porosus).
Despite the grimness it was actually an interesting exercise. The crocodile was very large – just over 4m. Its stomach was empty except for some stones which crocodiles often ingest to help with digestion, some seeds and a balled up fishing net. We will clean up the skull and put it on display in Tanjung Puting National Park's Visitor Information Centre alongside one from a Tomistoma.
While I can admit to the interest value, I also have to confess if that is my last involvement with crocodiles for a time I won’t be too upset.