The crocodile, who lives in the waters of East Kalimantan, Indonesia, had attacked a local bather earlier that week. The body was later returned by the reptile after a request from a local crocodile charmer.
Just as all hope was nearly lost, a crocodile reportedly delivered the body of 41-year old Syarifuddin after being summoned by a "crocodile charmer." The incident happened in Berau, East Kalimantan, Indonesia.
On Tuesday, Syarifuddin was bathing in a river with his friends when he was attacked by a 6.5 foot reptile at 6:20 in the afternoon. He was swimming in the water when the crocodile lunged at him and took him, according to the account of Andi Resmin, Syarifuddin’s friend and an eyewitness of the crocodile attack.
A desperate search for Syarifuddin was made by his relatives but he appeared to have vanished without a trace into the Lempake river’s murky depths. Even the police could not find him after they conducted a search in the night.
Next morning, the villagers sought the help of a local magician who specializes in crocodile witchcraft. A spell was cast to bring back Syarifuddin.
Incredibly, a crocodile appeared in the morning, floating to the banks of the river with the corpse of Syarifuddin in its jaws.
The bizarre incident was recorded on the mobile phones of the crowd that gathered on the riverbank to witness the return of the corpse.
It is not known whether it was the exact crocodile that was responsible for Syarifuddin’s death. As the residents yelled at the crocodile, it released the body of the victim which was then recovered by the locals.
Despite the tragedy, many praised the reptile for returning the body of the man. Some even suggested that the croc was guarding Syarifuddin’s corpse against other predators. "Some animals have good intentions,” said one.
Some people also blamed the victim for going into the territory of wild animals.
Eet, a local resident, said that according to a local myth, a crocodile would always attack those bathing naked in the river but anyone bathing with clothes on are kept safe.
Whether or not one believes in local folklore, the incident certainly stirred the supernatural sentiments of many. One even referred to the crocodile that returned Syarifuddin’s body as a "friendly incarnation from old times.” For others, a crocodile that appeared to have no attraction to human flesh sounded mystical enough by itself.
- By Oishimaya Sen Nag