Reward offered for removing bike tyre from 13-foot crocodile’s neck

The huge crocodile has had the motorcycle tyre around its neck for several years. AFP/Muhammad

JAKARTA: Indonesian authorities are offering a reward to anyone who can rescue a saltwater crocodile with a motorbike tyre stuck around its neck — and survive.

The contest will see one brave crocodile hunter land an unspecified amount of cash but it will mean coming face to face with the 13-foot (4-metre) reptile Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi.

Local conservation authorities have been trying — and failing — for several years to find a way to untangle the crocodile after video showed it gasping for air.

That sparked worries the tyre was slowly killing the beast.

Cash from agency chief’s own pocket

After a recent sighting, the province’s governor instructed his resource-strapped conservation agency to figure out how to end years of fruitless attempts.

The agency offered few details on the reward or how outsiders might pull off the task.

But its chief — who said the cash would come out of his own pocket — warned that he was not calling on amateurs to hunt down the reptile but rather addressing people with a background in wildlife rescue and a thirst for conservation.

“We’re asking the general public not to get close to the crocodile or disturb its habitat,” said Hasmuni Hasmar, the head of the Central Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency.

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