Singapore

Warning signs put up after crocodile spotted at Changi Beach Park

Warning signs have been put up at Changi Beach Park after the reported sighting of a crocodile in the area.

The Straits Times understands the signs have been up since Monday.

Mr Yusaini Abdul Rahim, an Immigration & Checkpoints Authority officer working at Changi Point Ferry Terminal, first saw the crocodile on Monday morning while on patrol.

The 41-year-old then contacted the National Parks Board (NParks) and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

He spotted the reptile again on Wednesday and posted photos and videos of it on Facebook, which have since been shared more than 7,000 times.

"My immediate priority was to warn the public to stay away as it can be quite dangerous," Mr Yusaini told ST yesterday.

He suggested that the crocodile could be the same one that was seen at Pasir Ris Park earlier this month. Sightings of crocodiles, while not uncommon in areas such as Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in north-western Singapore, are much rarer in the north-eastern region.

NParks group director of parks Chia Seng Jiang said the board is aware of a recent sighting of a crocodile around Changi Beach Park and it is likely an estuarine crocodile.

Estuarine crocodiles are known to swim in the Straits of Johor. They feed and rest in mangroves and freshwater bodies, and are usually found in the water or at mudflats away from visitor routes.

Mr Chia said NParks is working with the AVA and the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society to monitor the sightings, as well as to catch and move the crocodile to another location, for the safety of park users.

"NParks and AVA have also advised vessel owners, fish farmers and operators of establishments along the coast to take the necessary precautions," he said.

Warning signs and advisory notices have been put up in the park near water edges.

"Visitors should heed these signs, in particular to keep to designated paths and away from water edges," said Mr Chia.

It also advised people who come across a crocodile to stay calm and back away slowly.

They should not approach, provoke or feed the animal, and can call the NParks helpline on 1800-471-7300 for assistance.

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