We might have heard of house lizards losing their tails to escape or survive in times of danger, but the notion of a tailless crocodile is still quite uncommon.
Perhaps unknown to many Singaporeans, there is actually a tailless crocodile living in the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) in the northwestern part of Singapore.
Some visitors at SBWR have spotted it recently and posted videos online:
The story of ‘Tailless’
According to the National Parks Board (NParks), ‘Tailless’ is the name given to this crocodile that has a shorter and misshapened tail.
It was the result of an attack in 2009 by a larger crocodile at Sungei Buloh Besar
Since losing a portion of its tail, ‘Tailless’ has continued to be seen and recognised, due to its unique features.
While the crocodile’s powerful tail is one of its most important appendages, both for propulsion and defence, ‘Tailless’ appears to have survived and grown against all odds.
Estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) like ‘Tailless’, are found sighted in places such as the Singapore River, Kallang River, Sungei Seletar and Kranji Reservoir, and Pulau Tekong in the past.
They are not so common on mainland nowadays but SBWR is a good place to spot them. They are usually found in the water or at the mudflats of SBWR, away from the visitor routes.
To increase your chances of spotting them, you should try to visit SBWR when the tides are low and in the morning as the crocodiles being reptiles, will likely be out basking when the sun is up to start their day.
Advisory by NParks.
Though before you decide to embark on an excursion to spot “Tailless”, it will be good not to be overwhelmed with excitement, and try to learn more about the behaviour of crocodiles.
And also take note of the following NParks advisory:
1. Warning signs and advisory notices have been posted at areas where crocodiles are most often seen which look like this:
2. Visitors should heed these signs, in particular to keep to designated paths.
3. Should you encounter a crocodile on the path, just stay calm and back away slowly.
4. You should not approach, provoke, or feed the animal.
5. If you need help, you can call the Wetland Reserve Information Counter at 67941401 immediately.
Top photo from Suandi Hassan