Crocodile victim’s head found floating by family

A crocodile devoured a man as he fished in an eastern Indonesian river but left his head floating in the water where it was discovered by his distraught family, police said.

Sam Sem Ledo, a father of 11, set off on Tuesday to go fishing for crabs in the Amabi river in Kupang district on Timor island.

But the 53-year-old had not returned home by the following day, so several of his family members accompanied by police began searching for him.

At first they spotted a basket of crabs, his fishing gear and flip-flops — but then came face to face with his head floating in an estuary, said local detective Bonifasius Rumbewas.

“We were able to identify him because of the head,” added local police chief Mochammad Slamet, who said that other body parts, including intestines, were also found in the water.

Police did not say which of the man’s family members were involved in the search.

Slamet said Ledo had been killed by a saltwater crocodile, and that the area was infested with them.

In the past year and a half, at least five people had been killed by crocodiles in the district, added Slamet.

He urged people “to be aware that they are living near a crocodile habitat and take extra care”.

The huge Indonesian archipelago is home to a vast array of exotic wildlife, including several species of crocodile.

Villagers in the area have asked authorities to do more to protect them from crocodiles, including hunting and killing the one that killed the farmer.

A crocodile killed another farmer in the same river in January, and residents killed it days later.

Saltwater crocodiles can grow to up to 23 feet long and are the world’s largest reptile.


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