Animals

Crocodile ‘returns’ human corpse to shore after being ‘summoned’ by witch doctor

Villagers witness a crocodile returning the body of a man it killed, claiming that it was summoned by a local wizard specializing in ‘crocodile witchcraft.’

National Geographic YourShot Photo: An estuarine crocodile photographed by Pushpal Bhattacharya

Forty-one-year-old victim, Syarifuddin, was bathing with friends when a six-and-a-half foot crocodile seized and dragged him under the water in Berau, Indonesia on Tuesday (July 18) at 6:20 p.m. His body emerged on Wednesday (July 19), however, clasped in between the crocodile’s jaws.

According to Daily Mail, worried relatives and police searched for him after he last disappeared into the Lempake river – but without success.

“[Syarifuddin] was just in the water, and the crocodile humped at him and took him.”

– Andi Resmin, friend of Syarifuddin

Assuming that he had been eaten, relatives contacted a local black magic wizard who claimed to specialize in ‘crocodile witchcraft’ to cast a spell and bring Syarifuddin back alive.

The crocodile is reportedly to have reappeared the next morning on Wednesday (July 19) with the corpse clenched between its jaws, dropping the corpse on the shore.

Some witnesses are convinced that the crocodile had actually been protecting the corpse from other predators, as the body had not been devoured.

Video footage evidence shows that the predator was seen hovering over to the banks with the naked body of Syarifuddin inside its mouth, as the astonished crowd looked on from the scene.

A local resident, Eet, explained there was a local myth about how anyone bathing in clothes would be unharmed, but bathing naked would not keep people safe from crocodile attacks.

“If the person bathes naked they will be definitely be eaten by crocodiles, for sure. If they wear clothes they will not be ambushed.”

– Eet, local resident of Berau, Indonesia

Police Chief Inspector, Talisayan Faisal Hamid, who is currently investigating the case, said the victim’s friends reported to the officer that he was “attacked” by a crocodile.

Because the search was unsuccessful that night, the officer added that local residents decided to request for a “crocodile charmer,” and the body appeared the next morning.

Inspector Hamid said that it was “very weird” that three crocodiles had emerged from the river, as if “they were guarding the body, so the body of victim could be delivered.”

Nonetheless, Syarifuddin was found dead with injuries to the right ribs of his body.

Hamid said the “important” thing was that the body had been found and that locals were now “hunting” the crocodile that brutally killed the man.

“[There were] indeed estuarine crocodiles in the river. People also bathe in the water, so again, it is unlucky that he was killed by the crocodile.”

Talisayan Faisal Hamid, police chief inspector

National Geographic Photo: An estuarine crocodile photographed at Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas

Estuarine or saltwater crocodiles, are the world’s largest living reptile species, growing up to 17 feet long (five metres) and weighing 1,000 pounds (450 kilogrammes) – and also known to be “the animal most likely to eat a human,” according to the National Geographic.

Living up to an average of 70 years, saltwater crocodiles are excellent swimmers, often lurking beneath the surface near the water’s edge to wait for a potential prey. They feed on almost anything their jaws can grab, including monkeys, wild boars, water buffalos, and even sharks.

National Geographic YourShot Photo: A saltwater crocodile photographed by Ziaul Haque

Saltwater crocodiles are considered to be at low risk for extinction. However, they may soon become endangered due to illegal hunting.

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