KOMPAS.com – Tili may not an Indonesian conservationist or herpetologist. But, the 34-year resident of Sragen in Central Java managed to free a four-meter-long crocodile tangled in a motorcycle tire for years in the Indonesian city of Palu, Central Sulawesi.
The locals lauded his efforts, describing him as more powerful than Indonesian wild animal tamer Panji Petualang who tried to remove the unwanted rubber, but to no avail.
The crocodile has been stuck in the tire since 2016, bringing animal rescuers and crocodile wranglers from overseas to save the wild reptile. This included Australian crocodile wranglers Matthew Nicolas Wright and Chris Wilson as well as Forrest Galante of the Discovery Channel.
As for Tili, it took him three weeks to free the reptile from the tire jammed around its neck. To catch the river monster, he put baits tied to a rope and a large log at the river bank every day.
“The baits are pigeons and chickens,” Tili said while trying to remove the tire from the crocodile’s neck.
On Monday afternoon, Feb 7, Tili put another bait before he succeeded in catching the crocodile with the help of the locals.
“I wanted to free the crocodile because I felt pity for the reptile. A tire jammed around its neck for years,” he said.
When he managed to pull the crocodile, he quickly tied the reptile.
“Two attempts failed as the crocodile released the bait. But, after the Maghrib prayer [after sunset], we managed to catch the crocodile.”