Brunei's Crocodiles

Do you remember the news story on BB about a couple of weeks back about someone finding a baby crocodile in one of the drains near the houses at Bengkurong? That baby crocodile most probably came from the nearby river. In fact that river is fairly well known for its crocodiles which the locals have sighted every so often. I read somewhere that these crocodiles if they live long enough probably can reach as long as 9 meters (30 feet) long.

According to the scientists, there are many types or genus of crocodiles but in Brunei, there are only two types. One is the Crocodylus Porosus or the English Salt Water Crocodile or in Brunei, known as Buaya Katak. I am not sure why it's called that especially if it can grow up to 30 feet long. The other type is the genus Tomistoma Schegelii or known as Buaya Penjulung. The obvious difference between the two is the snout of the crocodiles. Buaya Katak's snout is more rounded whereas Buaya Penjulung's snout is narrower. But so far there is insufficient evidence that there still exists Buaya Penjulung in Brunei even though some fishermen claimed that they have seen and caught it in the past.

Interestingly enough, there is a little known debate among crocodile experts which spilled over to the internet about the possibility of a third genus of crocodile in Brunei known as Crocodylus Raninus. It was once thought that in Borneo up to 4 types of crocodiles existed, the Crocodylus Porosus, Crocodylus Raninus, Tomistoma Schegelii and Crocodylus Siamensis. Crocodylus Raninus is a freshwater crocodile and was said to have been seen about 100 years ago in Sarawak but now considered more or less extinct. However a Raninus skull was found in Tasek Merimbun not that long ago and many biologists harbour the thought that there are two types of crocodiles living in Tasek Merimbun instead of one.

I am not sure whether I like the idea of even one type of crocodile living anywhere, let alone two types. If you really want to see crocodiles without having to be surprised by finding one in your drain, Louis Mini Zoo in Tutong has a big collection of them in any size you want. Let's just hope they stay there.


anakbrunei said…
Interesting post as usual Mr BR. Perhaps you could also enlighten us on the most common species of crocodile in the world, which also inhabits all parts of Brunei, the Crocodylus Terra, or buaya darat... heheheh! Couldn't resist!
Anonymous said…
OOooo nice. But you forgot about the most common species: Buayatus Daratylus. Hehe if you know what I mean.

I love to see crocodiles. And im sure alot of people like too. I remember there was a lot of people stopped by damuan recreation to see a croc sunbathing somewhere on the river bank. Wouldnt it be great to have a crocodile zoo so curious onlookers can come and see. Just a thought. Heck even a zoo would be great. A nice place to take the children I say. I wonder why Brunei dont have a proper zoo?
Anonymous said…
Opps haha I didn't read the last paragraph about the Lois Mini Zoo in tutong. My bad. Thanks for the info Mr.Br now I know there is such a zoo. Now to find my where there ....
Anonymous said…
Reading your post reminds me of the unfortunate incident which befallen unto my great grandmother. She used to live in Kg Sumbiling Lama by the river. One day while washing clothes, she was attacked by a crocodile. She was lucky be alive after the attack as she somehow managed to free herself from the crocodile’s crushing jaws. At the time she was pregnant with twins, sadly miscarriage soon after. I remember seeing bite marks still visible on her thigh much later in her life.
Anonymous said…
It is worth noting that Crocodylus porosus is in the list of animals under the Wildlife Protection Act.
I've never heard of Crocodylus raninus, interesting. Somehow it was not mentioned during resource conservation class.
Anonymous said…
I've seen a couple of crocs along the river on my way to Temburong a couple of times. Is anybody doing anything about them? Can we do something about them?
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Effy said…
That mini zoo still exists? Wow. Is there anything about animal shelter in Brunei instead?
DC said…
Actually, the bridge over the river in Gadong has a few there. I've personally seen two and taken pics of them a long time ago there. l=

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