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After Awhile, Crocodile

Reptil Jaya Park in Mengwi, Bali Closed Down for Putting Rare Crocodiles and Public at Risk

(10/14/2012) The Jakarta Globe reports that Bali Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) has closed crocodile breeding farm and tourist attraction in Mengwi, Badung regency.

The BKSDA confiscated 72 crocodiles from the Reptil Jaya Park that has been operating without the proper licenses since the late 1995. Among the crocodiles removed from the Park were a number of rare saltwater crocodiles - considered among the largest crocodile species, and New Guinea crocodiles.

BKSDA officials also confiscated endangered false gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) - freshwater crocodiles on the endangered reptile list.

The owner of the park, Suharta Arifin, has been taken into custody by the police to be charged under a 1999 Law on Natural Resources carrying a possible penalty of five years in prison and a fine of Rp. 10 million (($10,400).

BKSDA officials confirm that the park had received two written warnings reminding that it lacked the special permits needed to hold and breed endangered species. BKSDA Bali chief Sumarsono said that the lack of any response forced his office to take action.

“The crocodiles were treated inhumanely. A number of them are injured. We suspect something is going on, especially with us finding a crocodile skeleton and all,” Sumarsono said. The 72 animals confiscated were all that remained of an original 318 crocodiles sent form Jakarta.

Officials also cited the park’s lack of safety equipment to prevent accidents involving park visitors.