Copper crocodile: Terengganu Perhilitan prohibits people from entering mining area

KUALA TERENGGANU, May 24 — People have been prohibited from entering the abandoned mining area in Kuala Nerus, here, which is a habitat of a saltwater crocodile or known locally as ‘buaya tembaga’ because of its copper-coloured body.

Terengganu Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) director Dr Abdul Malek Mohd Yusuf said his department had put up prohibition signs and barrier ropes since yesterday to ensure the public did not disturb the crocodile traps installed by Terengganu Perhilitan.

“In this regard, the public is expected to abide by the directive and no longer enter the area to feed the six-year-old crocodile referred to as ‘Mamat’ by locals.

“A trap has been set and we hope the reptile will be able to be relocated to another more suitable habitat,” he said when contacted today.

Since receiving complaints from residents about the reappearance of the crocodile on May 20, surveillance had been carried out but the crocodile has yet to be detected.

The story of ‘Mamat’ is not new to the people in Terengganu. In 2016, locals sighted it and used to give it food.

The reptile was only one metre long then and it did not act aggressively, which led to many coming to the mining area to see it up close.

In 2019, Terengganu Perhilitan laid traps but it did not detect Mamat until it reappeared recently.

Dr Abdul Malek said he also lodged a police report to prevent the public from disturbing or damaging the traps set by Perhilitan. — Bernama

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