Maldives National Defence force (MNDF) has launched a “crocodile hunt” near waters of Meedhoo island of Raa atoll, after locals reported spotting the creature.
According to MNDF, the crocodile is reportedly 10 feet long and was seen by several islanders moving near a fish enclosure in the waters surrounding Meedhoo.
Last February, a six-foot crocodile was found near the waters of Naifaru in Lhaviyani atoll by a fishing boat crew, while another four-foot croc was apprehended by authorities in January in Thaa Atoll.
In an earlier interview to Minivan News, Maldives-based marine biologist Verena Wiesbauer said the appearance of the animals is a “surprising” and rare occurrence within the country.
Although not professing to be a crocodile expert, she said that although species such as saltwater crocodiles were common in India, it was “quite surprising” to find them in the atolls of the Maldives.
Wiesbauer claimed that she believed it would probably be these saltwater crocodiles that have been most recently discovered in the Maldives and although they are rare, the public should be careful.
The last previous reptilian stranger to be found in the Maldives, a nine foot-long crocodile called ‘Kimboo’, is currently kept in the Kudakudhinge Bageecha (children’s park) in Male’, after being caught by MNDF cadets in 1998.
In July 2010, students at Billabong High School in Male’ launched a campaign to ‘Save Kimboo’, due to the small size of its enclosure and poor treatment.
Kimboo occasionally makes an appearance in local news and even has his own Facebook page calling for his release, however nothing has developed.