KUCHING, Jan 14 — Members of the public have been urged to contact the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) immediately if they spot a crocodile near their areas, instead of taking a video and sharing it on social media before asking for help from the authorities.

That is the message conveyed by the SF chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton when several districts in the state were hit by floods, causing concern among the public about the appearance of crocodiles during this disaster.

“If there are any complaints about the threat of crocodiles, the public can contact the SFC Wildlife officer at 019-885 9996 (Kuching), 019-888 3561 (Sibu), 019-833 2737 (Bintulu) or 019-829 0994 (Miri),” he said in an interview with Bernama here, today.

He said that the latest case of a baseless viral video clip received by SFC claiming to be of a crocodile entering a village here.

“We (SFC) received reports from the public… some said the incident took place in Kampung Nombor 4, some said Kampung Nombor 5, in Petra Jaya and in Lutong, Miri — we directed our team to the scenes but when we arrived, there was nothing,” he said, adding that it was an old video uploaded by irresponsible parties.

He said that such irresponsible attitudes not only posed a hindrance to SFC’s efforts but also caused concern to the villagers who were affected by the floods at this time.

When several districts in the state were hit by floods due to prolonged heavy rains, he said that there was the possibility of crocodiles appearing in villages in search of food sources as well as to avoid strong currents in the river.

“When you see a crocodile, do not worry. Immediately report to the SFC, then we will put a danger sign in the area as a precautionary measure to prevent residents from approaching the area,” he said.

He also said that SFC has started its 3M programme to educate the community to better understand how to live their lives with the presence of crocodiles. — Bernama