“Actually, from what I hear (and this needs confirmation from NParks), the croc in question just got too comfortable in its surroundings and started taking up residence in the visitor centre ponds. This is an active public zone, with lots of school kids and families at certain times and as such, the level of danger increased. As a result, the difficult decision was made to remove the crocodile altogether. At the end of the day, when public safety was compromised to such a point, NParks had to act to maintain the balance between nature conservation and public safety, I guess.
“The crocodile farm staff, who have experience in crocodile capture, were called in and the croc was caught and taken to the farm. The croc farm people were only too happy to agree as a wild caught male is difficult to come by and is ideal for breeding purposes.
“Why was the zoo not called upon? I do not know except that they may not have wanted the croc as they have enough. They often turn down many animals as they do not have the space or take them and re-release them into the central reserves (pangolins, pythons, etc.).
“Why was the croc not removed to another part of the wetlands reserve? Well, considering the relative small size of the reserve, it would probably have found it’s way back or continued to be a problem where it was as it had become too ‘tame’.
“There are several problems with the way the public and nature circles view conservation in Singapore. We cannot compare our reserves or circumstances with other countries, where their protected areas are substantially larger or their populations not so crowded into small spaces. Managing reserves here and conserving our natural treasures have to be done so in a somewhat unique fashion as the public impact is far greater for the reasons above. I do not envy NParks responsibilities and the pressures that they face. They could use all the support and advise that they can get but it should be done without undue criticism and fault-finding…..as has been the case in the press often.
“I do not speak for NParks and it may still be worthwhile seeking their views. These are merely my views based on what I have heard and seen.”
Input R Subaraj; image of reserve by YC and that of the croc by KC Tsang (who had another close encounter on 25th July 2007).