In Brief

Scientist mauled to death by pet crocodile

Deasy Tuwo, 44, was eaten alive after falling into illegal enclosure

An Indonesian woman has died after being savagely mauled by a secret “pet” crocodile.

Deasy Tuwo, 44, disappeared after going to feed Merry, a 700kg crocodile allegedly being kept illegally in a pool at the pearl farm where she worked as a lead laboratory scientist, the BBC reports.

Her “badly mauled body was found by colleagues the following morning”, says the Jakarta Post.

The scientist was “still in the animal's jaws”, says Sky News, and co-workers “struggled to free her remains as it thrashed around”.

Investigators believe the 14ft-long reptile attacked her after she fell into the enclosure, biting off “her arm and most of her abdomen”.

Merry was sedated and removed from the site in a “three-hour operation that involved dozens of people, including conservation officials, the army and police”, says the Jakarta Post. The animal has been transferred to a wildlife rescue centre.

Hendriks Rundengan from the North Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency told BBC Indonesian that officials had heard reports of the crocodile being kept illegally, but had been unable to investigate.

“We've come here a few times but the fences are always locked,” he said.

Indonesian police are reportedly attempting to track down a Japanese national who is said to be the owner of the pearl farm and the crocodile. 

Crocodile attacks are not uncommon in Indonesia, home to several species of the reptile. In July last year, an angry mob slaughtered almost 300 crocodiles at a farm on island of West Papua after a local man was mauled to death.

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