A reward is being offered to anyone brave enough to remove a motorcycle stuck round the neck of a 13ft crocodile in Indonesia.
The creature has been struggling around with the tyre since at least 2016 when it was first spotted in the Palu River in Central Sulawesi.
The endangered Siamese crocodile has survived an earthquake and a tsunami that struck the region in 2018, but the tyre hasn’t budged.
Central Sulawesi’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency this week launched a contest to free it.
The creature has been struggling around with the tyre since at least 2016 when it was first spotted in the Palu River in Central Sulawesi
There have been previous unsuccessful attempts to free the crocodile from the tyre
A reward is being offered by Central Sulawesi’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency
The agency’s chief Hasmuni Hasmar did not specify how much the reward would be but it would come out of his own pocket as the agency is strapped for cash.
He said: ‘A reward will be given to anyone who can release the hapless reptile.’
Mr Hasmar stressed that he didn’t want to encourage amateurs to risk themselves and only wanted people with a background in wildlife rescue.
He said: ‘We’re asking the general public not to get close to the crocodile or disturb its habitat.
The agency’s chief said he would pay the unspecified reward cash out of his own pocket
But he warned amateurs against going near the ferocious beast and only wants experts to try
There have been previous unsuccessful attempts to free the crocodile.
Conservationist and ‘animal whisperer’ Muhammad Panji tried and failed in 2018 and later that year volunteers from conservation agency attempted to lure the crocodile onto dry land by using chickens as bait, but the creature showed no interest.
Wildlife officials are especially concerned that the tyre – thought to come from a Vespa scooter thrown into the estuary – will strangle the crocodile if it is not removed urgently.
Fears for its safety intensified when a video showed it apparently gasping for air in 2018.
An agency official said at the time: ‘Its body is getting bigger and the tyre which should be 14 inches, is stifling it.
‘If the tyre is not removed immediately, it will strangle the crocodile because of its growing body.’