Tuesday, 20 June, 2017

A 10 year old girl named Nadia Pasela was attacked and killed by what was likely a Tomistoma (Tomistoma schlegelii) while bathing alongside her grandmother and siblings in the Batanghari River at Teluk Kembang in Teluk Kuali, Tebo Ulu at around 4:00 PM. The child’s grandmother claims a crocodile seized the child by the leg and dragged her away. The body was recovered at around 5:15 PM 15 meters from the location of the incident; there were bite injuries to the victim’s right calf, which were determined to have been inflicted by “an animal” according to authorities. This location is over 500km inland along the river and the only crocodilians there is evidence of occurring in the area are Tomistomas, although it is certainly possible saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) could enter the area.

Location data

Latitude: -1.195585000000
Longitude: 102.182914000000

Incident details

Outcome: Fatal
Victim Age: 10
Sex: Female
Activity Detail: Bathing alongside grandmother and siblings
Witnessed: Yes
Overall Quality of Report
Most important information is present and well-detailed
Date of Incident Date Precision
2017-06-20 Precise
Species Certainty
Tomistoma Probable
Size (metres) Size Precision
Location scale Location accuracy
  • Precise Lat/Lon given
  • Waterbody (eg, river name)
  • District (common name for an area)
  • Province (or State)
  • Country

About the crocodilian


The Tomistoma is a larger, slender snouted crocodilian species, potentially reaching over 5 m (16.5 ft) in length. The Tomistoma is currently distributed within portions of lowland Malaysia (peninsular and Sarawak), Indonesia (Kalimantan and Sumatra), and possibly Brunei. In the past the species may have been much more widespread with unconfirmed records from Thailand and Vietnam, as well as skeletal remains from southern China. The Tomistoma prefers freshwater swamp habitat, particularly peat swamps, but may occasionally be found in larger rivers and lakes as well. Smaller individuals appear to mostly prey upon invertebrates and, despite the slender snout, larger adults may prey upon larger vertebrates including mammals. On rare occasions large Tomistoma have attacked and killed people, and there has been at least one record of attempted predation upon cattle. Current threats to the species include the widespread destruction of peat-swamp habitat (typically associated with the construction of oil palm plantations) and both accidental and deliberate killings.

Estimated Wild Population: under 2,500

Conservation Status: Endangered.

Tomistoma schlegelii

About this record

Last Updated Contributor Incident Link Node Item GUID FKID
2017-06-22 10:17 Brandon Sideleau 100-6468 6468