Angry mob slaughters 292 crocodiles in Indonesia

Crowd attacked reptiles with knives and machetes after local man was mauled to death

crocodile slaughter
Two men stand among a heap of dead crocodiles slaughtered by a mob in Sorong in Indonesia's West Papua province
(Image credit: SKYLA/AFP/Getty Images)

An angry mob slaughtered almost 300 crocodiles at a farm on the Indonesian island of West Papua after a local man was killed by one of the reptiles.

Shocking images show bloodied crocodile carcasses piled high after the mass slaughter in the coastal town of Sorong on Saturday.

A local woman called Olga told the Jakarta Post that the dead man was factory worker called Sugito who was mauled to death while gathering grass to feed his cows.

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“A local resident heard him shouting for help but [...] Sugito was found dead,” she said.

Police said that the man fell into an enclosure belonging to a crocodile farm, the Straits Times reports. The 48-year-old victim “was bitten on the leg and then fatally struck by the tail of one of the crocodiles”.

After the man’s funeral, Sugito’s friends and family first headed to a nearby police station to complain about the farm's location near a residential area.

Police informed the angry crowd that the farm had agreed to pay compensation to the dead man’s family.

“But the mob, which numbered in the ‘hundreds’, was not satisfied”, says the Straits Times, and headed to the crocodile farm armed with knives, machetes and shovels which they used to slaughter some 292 crocs, from 10cm-long babies to 2m-long adults, the authorities said.

Armed with “knives, machetes and shovels”, they stormed the farm and set upon the crocodiles - a protected species in Indonesia.

“The residents used knives to slaughter the crocodiles,” Olga told the Post. “The crocodiles were caught and dragged outside and stabbed to death. It was so horrid to see.”

All 292 creatures at the facility were reportedly killed. Authorities said police were outnumbered and unable to stop the violence.

Basar Manullang, head of West Papua’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency, said that the crocodile farm had a government licence to operate and that the mass slaughter was “obviously against the law”. Authorities are investigating the incident.

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