Share This On:
(BBC) — An Indonesian woman has been mauled to death by a pet crocodile in Sulawesi after she fell into its enclosure.
Deasy Tuwo, 44, had reportedly been feeding the crocodile at the pearl farm where she worked, and where the animal was being kept illegally.
The 700kg crocodile, named Merry, is thought to have bitten off her arm and most of her abdomen.
The reptile has been relocated to a conservation site while authorities look for its owner.
Ms Tuwo was head of the laboratory at the pearl farm and was feeding Merry on 10 January when she fell into the crocodile’s enclosure.
Her colleagues discovered her body the next morning.
Hendriks Rundengan from the North Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) told BBC Indonesian that officials had tried to visit the facility several times in the past to remove the crocodile but had not been allowed in.
“We’ve come here a few times but the fences are always locked,” he said in an interview on Wednesday.
According to AFP, authorities believe Ms Tuwo’s body parts may still be inside the 4.4m-long crocodile.
Police are now trying to track down a Japanese national who owns both the farm and the crocodile.
The Indonesian archipelago is home to several species of crocodile that regularly attack and kill humans, AFP reports.
In April 2016, a Russian tourist was killed by a crocodile on the Raja Ampat islands, a popular diving site in the east of the archipelago, it says.
Worldwide, crocodiles are estimated to kill about 1,000 humans per year, many more than sharks.
Crocodiles do not necessarily set out to hunt humans, but they are opportunistic killers.
In Africa alone, there are several hundred crocodile attacks on humans per year, between a third to half of which are fatal, depending on the species.