An angry mob in an Indonesian village has slaughtered 292 crocodiles after a man in the village was killed by a crocodile in a breeding farm.
The villagers armed with knifes, hammers and clubs headed for the pond where the crocodiles were staying after they had buried the deceased.
They slaughtered 292 crocodiles in revenge for the death of the man killed by a crocodile at a breeding farm, an official said on Saturday.
The 48-year-old victim had entered the crocodile farm, and was likely picking grass for animal feed when he was attacked.
After his funeral, about 600 people descended on the crocodile farm armed with machetes, hoes and other sharp objects. Large crocodiles, up to 2 meters long, and babies were dragged from their enclosures and hacked to death.
About 30 to 40 police officers arrived the scene and tried to intervene, but were powerless to stop the killings.
Head of Indonesia’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency in West Papua, Basar Manullang, said the crocodiles were living in a lake in a property owned by businessman Sorong Regency in West Papau, Indonesia, and were blamed for the death of a villager on Friday.
“An employee heard someone screaming for help, he quickly went there and saw a crocodile attacking someone,” Manullang said in a statement.
After the burial of the man on Saturday, villagers entered the farm and killed all the crocodiles, said Manullang.
Manullang said the farm had been given a license to breed protected saltwater and New Guinea crocodiles in 2013 for preservation and also to harvest some of the animals.
But one of the conditions was that the reptiles did not disturb the community, he said.
A video of the incident shows the bloodthirsty mob dragging two-metre long crocodiles from the water before beating them to death with picks and other tools, and photographs released by Antara news agency showed bloodied carcasses of the crocodiles in a large pile in the Sorong district of the eastern Indonesian province of West Papua.
In Indonesia, killing a protected species is a crime which could result in a fine or imprisonment, according to the BBC. But in this case, no charges have been brought against anyone involved in the crocodile massacre.
Although the sanctuary was licensed, officials suggested that a security guard whose job was to keep people away from the dangerous animals may be charged with negligence. Others questioned the logic of keeping ponds full of crocodiles so close to a populated village.
The viral video has generated international outrage at the way the crocodiles were all slaughtered.