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Crocodile watch in Kota Kinabalu waters after sightings
Published on: Tuesday, May 14, 2024
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Crocodile watch in Kota Kinabalu waters after sightings
A screengrab from a video claiming a crocodile was seen in the waters of an island off Kota Kinabalu.
Kota Kinabalu: In the wake of a recent viral video showing a crocodile in the waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) Park, Sabah Parks has assured the people that its personnel are continuously monitoring the waters off islands within the area.

Its Director Dr Maklarin Lakim said they were aware of the short clip making its rounds on social media in the past week.

“We have actually been monitoring the animal’s presence in the park since a few years ago.

“We are well aware of this issue within the park, so we have tasked our coastal officers and rangers with keeping an eye on it as well as having other initiatives such as putting up warning signs for the public,” he said, adding that they were notified of the clip on May 8.

In the five-second video, people can be heard shouting in shock upon seeing the reptile emerge from the water.

The video is accompanied by the message: “Be careful guys, near Mamutik (Island). It might swim to Gaya Island.”

Apart from Mamutik and Gaya, the three other islands within the TAR Park, which covers 50 sq km, are Manukan, Sapi and Sulug.

The islands are generally located between 10 and 15 minutes by boat from the city centre.

Most of the islands are popular among local and foreign tourists alike, especially for snorkelling and water sports.

Maklarin said Sabah Parks previously caught juvenile crocodiles near the Sapi and Gaya islands. 

He added that the Balambangan and Banggi islands situated in the Tun Mustapha Park in northern Sabah, also under the custody of Sabah Parks, are known to have populations of saltwater crocodiles.

The Sabah Wildlife Department is in charge of monitoring the waters off Tanjung Aru beach here as well as those outside its jurisdiction, he said.

“But we are always working together on this issue,” he added.

Another longer video going around claimed a crocodile was sighted in waters off Dinawan Island in the southwest Papar district, about 40km from here.

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