by Margaret Osborne/Smithsonianmag.com
After various international rescue efforts over six years, a large Indonesian crocodile with a motorcycle tire stuck around its neck in Indonesia has finally been freed, reports Reuters‘ Abdul Rahman Muchtar.
First spotted in 2016, the female saltwater crocodile became known by locals in the city of Palu as “buaya kalung ban,” which means “crocodile with a tire necklace.” It’s unclear how the tire got stuck on the crocodile in the first place, though it could have been from people trying to catch it to keep as a pet or to sell its skin, reports Mohammad Taufan for the Associated Press. Saltwater crocodiles are a protected species in Indonesia.
Conservation officials have been trying to free it since then, even offering a reward in 2020 for anyone who could rescue it. That year, American outdoor adventurer and TV presenter Forrest Galante tried to catch the croc for a documentary called “Impossible Croc Rescue”—but was unsuccessful. Australian crocodile wrangler Matthew Wright also tried and failed. He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Greg Jennett that the reptile “definitely is one of the most difficult crocodiles I’ve had to catch in my career.”