Monday, July 16, 2012

Croc bolts cage in Kidapawan zoo

..KIDAPAWAN CITY – An eight-foot crocodile raised in captivity in a mini-zoo here escaped after a heavy flooding on Saturday. Marife Pame, City Government head of Tourism, said they only knew the crocodile is already on the loose after a regular check and clean-up inside the mini-zoo on Saturday noon. The zoo and park is located at Landmark, one of the tourist destinations in the city. The heavy rains, which caused flooding in some parts of the city and nearby towns, started Friday night and continued until the next morning. Armand Carcallas, zoo caretaker, said the crocodile destroyed the cyclone wire and fled to the Saguing River, just few feet away from the zoo. The Saguing River is one of the longest and biggest rivers in North Cotabato. City Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco has already ordered the manhunt and promised to give cash rewards to those who could bring the predator back to the zoo. Pame has already sought help of the police, forest rangers, soldiers, and rescue groups to track the crocodile. Although the crocodile, tamed in a zoo, is not as “fierce” as those in the wild, still, city officials have warned people, especially those living near the rivers, to be careful and not to go swimming. In a related development, the flood waters also drowned three people in T’boli town in South Cotabato. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the Sapali River breached its banks in T’boli around 4 p.m. Saturday, killing two children and a young woman. The three were identified as Jocelyn G. Gulac, 23, Jasmin L. Gulac, 12, and Marical G. Buhale, 13. Their bodies were retrieved by search and rescue teams from Sapali River. (With SAE/Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex) ..