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Panic as over 150 crocodiles on loose in South Africa

At least 52 crocodiles recaptured, official says

Hassan Isilow   | 09.03.2021
Panic as over 150 crocodiles on loose in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG 

More than 150 crocodiles have escaped from a breeding enclosure in South Africa’s eastern Mpumalanga province, causing panic in the region, a local official said.

April Lukhele, an official at the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA), told state broadcaster SABC late Monday that some 160 reptiles had escaped from a private breeding project and 52 of them have been recaptured.

The crocodiles are reported to have escaped during the recent persistent rains that caused their enclosure to collapse.

Lukhele warned residents not to go close to the Sand River, which is near the enclosure, or dams in nearby villages, as crocodiles are known to get out of fast moving waters and settle outside making them dangerous to both humans and livestock.

However, concerned residents have asked authorities to capture the remaining crocodiles before they attack people.

Residents say most children swim in the Sand River to cool off from the heat, while other people perform rituals in the river.

“The permit for the breeding programme will be revoked so that he will be given a chance again to rebuild the facility. If the quality is so good, we will issue the permit again,” the official said.

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