After being closed by Bali animal welfare officers for having no operating license, 72 crocodiles at the Reptil Jaya Park in Mengwi have been moved to a safer home at the Taman Safari Indonesia Park in Gianyar in a three-day operation November 5 -7, 2012.
Seputarbali.com reports that the Bali Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) were assisted by the police in the careful transfer of the 72 reptiles and four fertile crocodile eggs to the modern facilities provided by Taman Safari Indonesia.
In addition to not holding permits for the care of rare and endangered species, conservation officials were shocked by the poor and dangerous condition of the enclosures and care provided at Reptil Jaya Park.
Sumarsono, a section head at BKSDA Bali told kompas.com: “We moved all of the reptiles to a new location that is both adequate and safe. Suitable and safe for both the animals and for those viewing them.”
Meanwhile, the owner of the now-closed park, Suharta Arifin, has been named a suspect in a criminal case suspected of violating Indonesia’s conservation laws. Arifin is charged with crimes that could send him to prison for five years and incur a fine of Rp. 100 million (US$10,400).
As reported earlier by Balidiscovery.com, police and conservation officials raided the Reptil Jaya Park in Mengwi on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 when they officially seized the 72 crocodiles living at the facility.
Prior to that raid, the BKSDA sent two warning letters calling for the facility to obtain the needed permits.
Among the crocodiles seized at the Park were a number of rare saltwater crocodiles - considered among the largest crocodile species, and New Guinea crocodiles. Officials also confiscated endangered false gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) - freshwater crocodiles on the endangered reptile list.
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