To control the crocodile population infesting the beaches of Kupang in the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara, the local tourism authority hopes to launch a crocodile catching competition later this month. Participants need the skills and capabilities if they want to win the price of five million rupiah (AU$500) for each crocodile caught alive.

“The safety of visitors are endangered by the presence of these crocodiles. Therefore, I would like to mobilise the community to be involved with the security of beaches all over East Nusa Tenggara starting with Kupang,” says Jelamu Ardu Marius, the head of the East Nusa Tenggara tourism department. “That’s why I planned the competition to catch the crocodiles. It might not be a popular plan, but as the person in charge of tourism, I have to ensure the safety of our tourists at the beaches.”

Apparently, 19 people were killed by crocodiles between 2011 and 201, which include local villagers and even tourists. Thus far, a total of nine local villagers have died due to the wild animals this year.

Marius adds that their department is still in talks with the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BBKSDA) and an insurance company. The authorities hope that the competition will be announced officially on August 17 after Independence Day.

Once approved, the animals will be handed over to the BKSDA or be transferred in an enclosed space on a local beach, which will serve as one of the area’s tourist attractions.

However, Maman Surahman, head of the technical department at the Natural Resources Conservation Agency, criticized the department’s proposition. Surahman says that no one thought this plan through.

Surahman adds that the competition will endanger the lives of the participants. While the tourism department’s wild crocodiles concern is understandable, setting up a competition to catch these dangerous animals is insensible.