14-Foot Crocodile Freed from Tire Stuck Around Its Neck After 6 Years

Locals previously referred to the animal as "buaya kalung ban" — the crocodile with a tire necklace

A wild 14-foot crocodile in Indonesia that had a motorcycle tire stuck around its neck for 6 years has finally been freed.

Back in 2016, the reptile — which was referred to locals as "buaya kalung ban," the crocodile with a tire necklace — was first spotted with the vehicle part around its body near the country's Palu River, according to the Associated Press.

Over the years, many tried to provide aid to the animal, including Australian crocodile wrangler Matt Wright, among others, but none were successful.

In January, a 35-year-old man named Tili moved to the city, and, according to the outlet, learned about the animal from nearby locals, before eventually spotting the crocodile for himself.

Crocodile with tire stuck on neck
Faldi Muhammad/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Tili, who the AP reported goes by a single name, is bird-catcher and trader, and felt he could help the affected creature.

"I have experiences and skills in catching animals, not only birds, but farm animals that are released from the cage," Tili told the outlet. "I believe I can rescue the crocodile with my skills."

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Utilizing "ropes of various sizes," per the AP, Tili set up a trap tied to a tree near the Palu River and used animals among the likes of chickens and ducks as bait.

Crocodile with tire stuck on neck
Josua Marunduh/AP/Shutterstock

After several failed attempts over the course of three weeks, the crocodile eventually fell into the trap on Monday night. There, Tili and his two friends pulled the animal ashore and sawed the tire off from its body, which, the AP reported, was around 1.6 feet in diameter.

And though it is unclear how the motorcycle tire got stuck around the crocodile's neck in the first place, conservationists told the outlet that it was likely placed in the river in a failed attempt to trap the animal as a pet or to skin it for sale.

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Crocodile with tire stuck on neck
Mohammad Taufan/AP

After the wild animal was returned to the river free of the tire around its body, Tili spoke with Reuters and noted that he did not rescue the animal for his own gain, but rather because he is an animal lover.

"I just can't stand to see animals hurt. Even snakes, I will help," Tili — whose vast knowledge of wildlife is "self-taught," per the outlet — said.

Authorities in the area had previously offered a reward for anyone who could remove the tire from the crocodile, NBC News reported. The offer, however, was canceled after a month following "a lack of interest and public safety concerns," the outlet added.

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