A crocodile in Indonesia that had a motorcycle tyre stuck around its neck for six years was finally freed by a self-taught reptile rescuer on Monday (February 7) night.
“I caught the crocodile by myself. I was asking for help from people here but they were scared. It got caught in the trap I set up,” said Central Sulawesi province resident Tili, 35, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.
After capturing the reptile, Tili used a small saw to cut the tyre and posed for photographs afterwards.
The crocodile had been elusive, only rarely resurfacing in the water, Tili said. He set up a basic trap with a rope tied to a log with live chickens and ducks as bait. After tracking the reptile for three weeks, it appeared as though the crocodile would best Tili, as it escaped his trap twice.
“Many people were sceptical about me and thought I was not serious (about catching the crocodile), but I proved (I could do) it,” he added.
The crocodile had evoked sympathy from local residents who worried the tyre would eventually choke it as the reptile grew in size.
In January 2020, provincial conservation authorities had offered an unspecified reward for anyone who could remove the tyre. It’s unclear whether Tili will try to claim it.
He said his main motivation was to help animals, even adding this is not his first time dealing with a crocodile.
“I sometimes play around with them,” he said.