KIDAPAWANCITY (July 15/Sunday) – An eight-foot crocodile raised in captivity in a mini-zoo here escaped during a heavy flooding Saturday, a tourism official said.
Marife Pame, head of the tourism and investment promotions of the Kidapawan City government, said they learned the crocodile had escaped only after a regular check and clean-up inside the mini-zoo Saturday noon.
The zoo is located in Landmark, located at the boundary of Kidapawan City and Makilala town in North Cotabato, is run by the city government through its Tourism and Investment Promotions Office.
The heavy rains, which caused flooding in some parts of the city and nearby town, started Friday night and continued until the next morning.
Armand Carcallas, zoo caretaker, said the crocodile managed to escape by destroying the cyclone wire of its pen. It then moved towards the Saguing River a few feet away from the mini-zoo, he said.
The Saguing River is one of the longest and biggest rivers in North Cotabato.
Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco has promised cash rewards to those who could bring the crocodile back to the zoo.
Pame has sought help of the police, forest rangers, soldiers, and rescue groups to track dwon he crocodile down.
Although tamed in the zoo and not as fierce as those in the wild, city officials have warned people, especially those living near the river, to be extremely careful and to refrain from swimming. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)