Mass Escape Of ‘Very Dangerous’ Crocodiles Leads To Police Hunt
A large number of crocodiles have escaped from a South African breeding farm.
While 27 of the reptiles have been recovered, the search remains ongoing – but police don’t actually know how many they’re looking for.
The remaining escapees have been lose since Wednesday, March 3.
It’s believed the crocs managed to escape the farm located in the Western Cape province through a broken fence and then made their way to the Breede River.
Confirming the news of the ordeal and that some of the reptiles had been captured, South African Police Service spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said earlier this week, as per The South African, ‘On Wednesday at approximately 7:00, the owner of a crocodile (commercial) facility upstream of Bonnievale town discovered some crocodiles had escaped from one of the holding camps within the facility. Approximately 25 crocodiles were re-captured during the course of the morning.’
Apparently the croc sizes range from 1.2 metres to 1.5 metres in length.
‘CapeNature provided trap cages to the owner, which has been positioned on the riverbank with bait, in an attempt to recapture the escaped individuals’, van Wyke continued. ‘This will be increased with night patrols (police and CapeNature) on the river with spotlights, in order to locate any other individual crocodiles.’
CapeNature, the region’s environmental service, has warned than the animals are ‘very dangerous’ and told people not to approach them, BBC News reports.
Petro van Rhyn, a spokeswoman for CapeNature, said:
Obviously, they are very dangerous. These are wild animals even though they’ve been in captivity. People must not approach them and stay clear of the river until all are captured.
He added, ‘It is not known how many escaped in total. The juvenile crocodiles escaped through a wire fence which they managed to break through.’
People have also been told not to swim in the waters located 5km towards upstream towards Roberson and 5km the other way towards Swellendam for the next few days, and that if anyone spots any of the crocodiles they should contact the authorities immediately.
Humane traps to capture the crocodiles were placed the river yesterday, March 4, as the search continues for the remaining reptiles. Officials are believed to have been patrolling the waters throughout the day and night.
Fingers crossed the last of the crocs will be found sooner rather than later…
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