NORTH COTABATO - An 11-foot female crocodile identified by experts as a Crocodylus Mindorensis, also known as Philippine Crocodile, was captured in Barangay Cuyapon, Kabacan, North Cotabato.
The crocodile named "Kanluran" was living in the Liguasan Marsh.
Fisherman Mamangkas Mangatong, 70, said he had to capture the reptile because it was destroying their fishnets and cages.
"....hinuli ko kasi hindi na kami makapangisda, pero yung mga buwaya naman sa lugar na 'di kami nangingisda, hindi ko pinapakialaman," Mangatong said.
Mamangkas said he has already captured over 50 crocodiles in Liguasan Marsh.
Since 2007, residents near the Liguasan Marsh had already been briefed that capturing, selling and killing crocodile is prohibited.
According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), killing a crocodile is an offense that has a fine amounting to P100,000 and imprisonment of up to 6 years.
"Kanluran" was turned over to the wildlife center in the 602nd Brigade of the Philippine Army in Carmen, North Cotabato, said Kabacan Environment and Natural Resources Officer Gerardo Laoagdan.
"Dito kasi sa province, dalawa lang ang meron center, sa 602nd Brigade at sa provincial capitol. Mas malapit at mas okay kung sa Brigade para masuri muna ng mga expert, at kung kailan ibabalik, hindi pa natin alam," Laoagdan said.
Last April 2016, an 8-foot male crocodile named "Silangan" was also captured in Barangay Cuyapon, Kabacan, and also placed under the custody of the 602nd Brigade.
With a total area of 288,000 hectares, covering the provinces of North Cotabato, Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat, the Liguasan Marsh serves as a haven to endangered species, including crocodiles, tarsiers, and migratory birds.
Until now, there hasn't been a formal survey on the population of the crocodiles in Liguasan Marsh.