Kampung Pandan resident narrowly escapes croc attack

National 2 minutes, 11 seconds

BELAIT

RESIDENTS of Kg Pandan 6 are calling on authorities to enforce safety measures along its river after a resident narrowly escaped a crocodile attack on Thursday.

Hj Ismawi Hj Munir, who claimed his brother was the near victim, said crocodiles have long been spotted in the village – especially at the lagoon opposite Kg Pandan Mosque – but that this was the first time the reptile appeared at the river in front of his brother's house.

“My brother was right at the edge with his back facing the drain, pulling out weeds in the grass. All of a sudden, there was a huge splash and he turned around and saw a crocodile reaching for him,” said Hj Ismawi yesterday at the scene of the incident.

His brother, who asked that his identity remain private, managed to escape by leaping over a short metal fence that separates the river from land.

Hj Ismawi said since most of the drains and rivers in Pandan B and C flow into the lagoon, he suggested steel fences be set up where the river begins to flow into residential areas to prevent crocodiles from coming through.

“Sometimes (the authorities) may not take the situation seriously because they think we’re exaggerating. But after the fatal crocodile attack in Sg Teraban earlier this year, we shouldn’t take these situations so lightly,” he added.

Another resident, Ahmad Muaz Marzuki, said there are jogging trails near the river that residents commonly use, putting them at risk of coming into direct contact with crocodiles.

“After hearing about the incident, we’re thinking twice about using the jogging trails or letting our children play near the area. Yes, there’s a barricade, but it’s very short. But there are many areas that crocodiles could access, especially if the tide is high,” he said.

Meanwhile, residents who were fishing at the lagoon yesterday acknowledged that crocodiles are common in the area and said they are the most dangerous when not visible from a distance and use long grass and shady areas for cover.

“When we fish here (at the lagoon), we pick areas where we have a clear view of the water to reduce our risk. The corner areas with longer grass and drain openings we stay away from,” said Md Azim Hassan.

His friend, Eric Chin, said it was surprising news that a crocodile was spotted in Pandan 6, which is a kilometre or two away from the lagoon.

“If the crocodile did come from the lagoon, then this is my first time hearing about one spotted quite a distance away (from it),” he said.

The Brunei Times