Crocodile captors now wildlife enforcement officers

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/06 May) – Two fishermen who caught a crocodile in the Liguasan Marsh in North Cotabato were designated as “wildlife enforcement officers”, an official said.

M’lang Mayor Joselito Pinol said he has made Mao Muhaliden Sujod and Oman Bojo, both from Barangay Dungguan, M’lang, to become enforcement officers under the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office.

The local government will pay for their monthly honoraria through the general fund, the mayor said.

Pinol made the announcement after Malang, the name given to the endangered crocodile, was returned to its natural habitat in Dungguan on May 2.

The official said Sujod and Bojo were fishing in the marsh sometime in April when they saw the crocodile under the water. They decided to capture the reptile

Two days later, they turned over the crocodile, believed to belong to the country’s largest species, to the M’lang local government which placed it under tight watch, the mayor said.

Pinol, along with other environment officials from Region 12 and Palawan, released Malang, an endangered crocodile belonging to the Crocodylus mindorensis species, to the marsh.

The release was witnessed by Datu Tungko Saikol, regional executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 12, Director Veronica de Guzman of the Palawan Wildlife Reserve and Conservation Center, and Dr. Cayetano Pomares, vice president for research of the University of Southern Mindanao.

Saikol said they plan to establish a crocodile conservation center to protect Malang and other remaining Philippine crocodiles in the Liguasan marsh.

De Guzman said her office is willing to support the project. (MindaNews)