CROCODILE CLAIMS THREE IN PNG VILLAGE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 12) - Three women were found stripped with half of their body parts missing when huge crocodiles attacked them in different villages along the Kikori River in the Gulf Province. Only the head and abdomen with scattered intestines were found of the first victim two days after she was attacked in Wowobo Village East Kikori. Senior police constable Edward Ipai who headed the search, discovered the unrecognizable body guarded by one killer crocodile, shot later. Constable Ipai described the crocodile as measuring six meters long, huge and had barnacles growing on its back.

"IT was very terrifying to see the great reptile guarding the body of the woman. It was black, huge and very long," Ipai said yesterday in Port Moresby.

He said he shot it 10 times with his gun and the villagers drove two metal spears into its back "but it showed no sign of pain and disappeared into the river leaving the body."

The second crocodile attack happened in Aibigahe Village up the Kikori River, just days after the attack on Wowobo Village.

Ipai said he killed the four-meter long crocodile but after it had killed a woman, who was with her husband on the riverbank collecting crabs.

"The husband saw the crocodile coming and moved away from the bank of the river and told his wife to follow but she got stuck in the mud and the crocodile caught her and took her underwater," Ipai said.

He said the locals and his team blocked the river with a net in which the crocodile got stuck and released the body of the woman, which was underwater for more than five hours.

"The stripped body of the woman with her breasts, arms and legs cut off was released and the crocodile was killed," Ipai said. He said also in Waitili Village another woman was killed by another crocodile.

The policeman said the victim’s breast, whole of one arm and leg were missing when her naked body was discovered the next day.

"People are fearing that these crocodile attacks may be the work of magicians as the victims are all women and have been stripped," the policemen said.

He said people along the Kikori River were living in constant fear and had called on the government and the national disaster office to help them kill the crocodiles.

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