A mob of villagers has killed almost 300 crocodiles at a sanctuary for the animals in the Indonesian province of West Papua.
The head of Indonesia's natural resources conservation agency in West Papua said it was thought the victim, 48, was picking grass for animal feed when he was attacked.
The piled-high bodies of the reptiles in the Sorong district of the eastern Indonesian province of West Papua were shown in photographs published by the Antara news agency.
Officials say on Friday morning, a local man named Sugitno was trespassing in a crocodile breeding sanctuary owned by PT Mitra Lestari Abadi (MLA) to pick up some vegetables.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, or ABC, reported the crowd numbered 600 and used machetes, hoes and other tools in the slaughter. The man's death and subsequent revenge attack are both under investigation.
But the mob, which numbered in the "hundreds", was not satisfied and headed to the crocodile farm armed with knives, machetes and shovels which they used to slaughter some 292 crocs, from four-inch-long babies to two-metre adults, authorities said.
2018 shows dead crocodiles slaughtered by a mob in Sorong in Indonesia’s Papua province. SKYLASKYLA AFP Getty Images
"The dead crocodiles have been burned and buried around the farming area", said Basar Manullang, a conservation official.
Authorities said police were outnumbered and unable to stop the violence. Criminal charges may be laid, they said.
"We couldn't do anything", Sorong Police Chief Dewa Made Sutrahna was quoted as saying.
The Southeast Asian archipelago is home to a vast array of wildlife, including several species of crocodile that regularly attack and kill humans.
Witnesses will be questioned to determine if the breeding farm had been negligent and any laws broken in killing protected crocodiles, he added.
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