MANILA, Philippines - An endangered crocodile is now in the custody of the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Quezon City after a 950-kilometer trip from the southernmost part of the country.
The saltwater crocodile (crocodylus porosus) is known to be the largest of living crocodilians that can grow up to 6 meters long and is listed as "highly endangered." It was accidentally caught by fishermen in Indanan town in Jolo, Sulu last Nov. 16, 2012.
The saltwater crocodile is male with a body length of 4 meters.
The DENR commended the efforts of the DENR-ARMM which first responded to ensure the safety of the endangered animal.
The crocodile was shipped to the DENR office in Zamboanga City by the Philippine Navy on December 22 and was flown to Villamor Airbase in Pasay City Saturday, January 5, where it was received by DENR senior wildlife officials led by Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) Director Theresa Mundita Lim.
The crocodile is undergoing routine medical check-up and will be housed at the Wildlife Rescue Center until its health condition stabilizes.
Lim said the PAWB will work for the possibility of eventually releasing the animal back to its natural habitat.