Members of the Bonnievale community and surrounding areas in the Western Cape have been warned to keep clear of the Breede River after numerous young crocodiles escaped from a commercial breeding farm there. Twenty of the young Nile crocodiles have since been recaptured while an unknown number still remain at large. Cape Nature’s Executive Director Ernst Baard spoke to Sally Burdett. #DStv403
CAPE TOWN - Police were on a crocodile hunt after an unknown number of reptiles escaped from a commercial breeding farm in the south of the country, conservation officials said.
Young Nile crocodiles measuring 1.2 to 1.5 metres long sneaked out of a farm in Cape Winelands.
Police have set up a "dedicated task team" to deal with the escape, a government conservation department, CapeNature, said.
James-Brent Styan, the spokesman for Western Cape's provincial environmental affairs ministry, told AFP the farmer on Wednesday morning "realised there was a hole in the fence and an unknown number of crocodiles had escaped."
Police, local nature authorities, landowners and the farmer have been searching around the Breede River, which runs close to the farm, he said.
Twenty-seven of the juvenile crocs have been recovered so far.
Recapture efforts entail setting up "humane trap cages" on the river banks with bait inside to lure the animals, Razeena Omar, CEO of CapeNature, said.