Palawan fisherman survives crocodile attack

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — A fisherman in the southern Palawan town of Bataraza escaped a saltwater crocodile attack, a police official has said.

Chief Insp. Victor Sumondong of the Bataraza Municipal Police Station (MPS) on Tuesday identified the latest victim as Toto Ibrahim, a resident of Barangay Tabud in the said municipality.

Sumondong said Ibrahim was attacked around 8 p.m. on August 18 by a large crocodile in a river in Tabud while he was catching fish.

“Nagtamo ng sugat sa balikat at likod [sa may] bandang kanan ang biktima. Masuwerte naman na nakabitaw sa pagkakasakmal ang biktima. Ang kinain ng buwaya ay ang nahuli nitong isda (He sustained wounds on his shoulder and back. He was lucky to have escaped the mouth of the crocodile that attacked him. It fed instead on the fish he caught),” Sumondong said.

Before Ibrahim, 43-year old Rebenti Ladja, also a fisherman, was fatally attacked by a seven-foot saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in Barangay Catagupan, Balabac, at the southernmost tip of Palawan on February 19, 2018.

Previously, provincial information officer Gil Acosta Jr. said the provincial government has recommended the declaration of crocodile sanctuaries in southern Palawan to prevent more attacks on residents due to habitat disturbance.

However, it has yet to materialize, said provincial environment and natural resources officer Felizardo Cayatoc of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, pending the conduct of public consultations. Celeste Anna Formoso/