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Competition to Remove Tyre Stuck Around Croc’s Neck Cancelled Due to Lack of Participants

The tyre has been stuck around the reptile's neck for years, but no one’s up to the task of saving it.
Koh Ewe
crocodile indonesia competition tyre
The crocodile on January 22, 2020. Photo by Muhammad / AFP

A competition to dislodge a rubber tyre stuck around a crocodile’s neck in Indonesia was cancelled after failing to get any responses from the local community. There was a reward awaiting the winner but really, would any amount of money be enough to make you attempt the daredevil rescue?

For years, the unfortunate crocodile has been roaming the Palu River in Central Sulawesi province with a motorcycle tyre struck around its neck. The mystery of its strange predicament has made it somewhat of an urban legend. It was first spotted with the tyre in 2016, and even survived an earthquake and tsunami in 2018 with its neck accessory stubbornly intact. Many believe that the tyre came from a scooter that was discarded in the river.


Many worry that as the croc grows, the tyre will eventually strangle it. There have been attempts in the past to capture the 4-metre-long crocodile, including enticing it with meat and building a crocodile trap. However, they were all met with failure. There’s the option of tranquilising the reptile before capturing it, but rescuers fear that it could swim away before the tranquilising effects kick in.

With limited resources to locate the wild crocodile, the Central Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency came up with the idea of a croc-catching contest, the Jakarta Post reported.

The contest was first announced by head of the agency Hasmuni Hasmar on Tuesday, January 28. It was an open call for wildlife rescue experts and conservationists to help free the crocodile from the tyre. The sum of the reward for successfully catching the crocodile was not specified.

But just five days later on Sunday, February 2, the agency announced that they have decided to cancel the competition. Apparently, no one had signed up for it.

Instead, they now plan to assemble a special task force to rescue the, um, rubberneck croc. Their strategies to do so have not been disclosed.

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