Tourists on a popular Bali beach got the shock of their lives when a giant crocodile washed up onto the shore, with quick-thinking locals rushing to the aid of swimmers.
Videos and photos circulating on social media show the massive reptile splashing around in the water, before eventually being captured and carried away by lifeguards.
The crocodile appeared on the busy Padma beach in Legian, Kuta on Wednesday according to local news sites, and was initially mistaken for a piece of wood. A member of the Badung lifeguard squad took a closer look and realised it was an impressive saltwater crocodile reportedly measuring up to three metres in length.
Videos shared on Facebook show a team of locals, including lifeguards, attempting to lure it onto the sand. They manage to restrain the giant croc with rope before picking it up and walking it off the beach.
While it’s believed there’s no known population of crocodiles in Indonesia, there have been sightings on occasion. The rare sight attracted a crowd of people who watched as the crocodile was carried off the beach. Some whipped out their phones and cameras to capture the incredible scene.
A witness told local news site Coconuts that Bali lifeguards immediately blew their whistles to warn swimmers once the animal was spotted. Officials have reportedly confirmed that Legain’s Padma Beach is now safe and that the crocodile was removed by the Denpasar Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA).
Wayan Suyadnya, a spokesperson for the lifeguard branch, Badung Balawista, told Coconuts Bali the crocodile likely escaped from captivity with the help of recent strong winds.
“Ever since I joined Badung Balawista in 2005, this was the first time I saw a crocodile on the beach. Even my seniors at Balawista never saw anything like it,” he added.
Videos and photos were shared by both tourists and Bali locals who were stunned after witnessing the animal. Many Aussies were surprised to learn crocodiles existed in Bali and vowed never to swim in the ocean again.
“I was NOT aware that crocs were at Bali!!!” one person commented in a Facebook group dedicated to Bali tourists.
“Wow I literally never [knew] that [they were in Bali], and didn’t ever think about it while swimming at the beach,” another said.
One man said he’d been surfing at the same beach the day before and said he’d never thought there could be a crocodile.