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When granddad is a croc

"The Boy and the Crocodile: The Legend of East Timor," illustrated by children from Familia Hope Orphanage East Timor (Cover image courtesy of Familia Hope).

On daily morning or evening strolls along the waterfront of Dili during a recent visit, I walked with a new wariness, particularly when passing clumps of mangroves. But gradually, I acquired a revised awareness of my vision of the natural world.

Timor-Leste is being invaded, this time by saltwater crocodiles, which can grow over six meters in length. They bask on the sparsely settled south coast. They lurk around river mouths and mangrove swamps on the more populated north coast. They grab pigs and goats, but attacks on humans are reported more frequently: 45 in the seven years up to April 2014, of which 37 were fatal, and some on beaches where tourists are being enticed to go snorkeling.

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