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15,000 crocodiles escape in South Africa? Police need herding help after floods

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Regardless of the exact number of farm-raised crocs now touring the wild, government officials and experts are calling on people who live near the remote region, which sits on the Limpopo River, to be careful around bodies of water. Many of the crocodiles are assumed to now be residing in the river.

"So far we are lucky. There has not been any emergencies," said Mulaudzi. "And we are hopeful that nothing will happen. But with crocodiles all over in the river we are saying, please, we need assistance."

Donald Strydom, a wildlife expert at South Africa's Khamai Reptile Centre, said he doesn't think the croc release will lead to a loss of human life. People are aware of the situation, he said, and crocodiles don't naturally hunt humans.

"People must not go into a monster hunt and think these crocodiles are out to eat them," Styrdom told South Africa's eNews Channel Africa.

Mulaudzi said he did not think the Rakwena Crocodile Farm would face any charges from police for releasing the crocs, given the emergency nature of the flood. Flood waters are inundating northern South Africa and neighboring Mozambique. But Mulaudzi said the farm may face scrutiny from the Department of Environmental Affairs, which is helping with the reptile emergency.

The Rakwena Crocodile Farm website shows goods like crocodile-skin purses, belts and hats for sale. Crocodile meat is also available for purchase.

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