Update on escaped crocodiles
A total of 66 young Nile crocodiles have been recaptured or euthanised in an ongoing operation in Bonnievale.
An unknown number of crocodiles, ranging in size from 1.2m to 1.5m, escaped from a farm and made their way to the Breede River, which passes in the vicinity. The animals escaped via a hole in a fence that enclosed the camp they were kept in.
At last count 34 crocodiles have been euthanized and 32 recaptured.
Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, says CapeNature has already started with an investigation into the escape of the animals. This would include determining whether the crocodile owner was in breach of any of the permit regulations.
CapeNature continues to patrol the river but the overgrown river and dense vegetation makes the conditions difficult.
“The traps remain in place and the patrols will continue until further notice. I want to thank the various roleplayers who mobilized immediately to assist in the operation to recapture the crocodiles. In particular I want to thank the South African Police and the the Police Diving Unit, the various landowners in the area and CapeNature and its officials under the leadership of dr Ernst Baard and Corne Claasen who have led tirelessly from the front.”
Bredell has urged people who spot a crocodile, not to approach it but to alert the authorities immediately on the telephone number 023 616 8060 which is the number for the Bonnievale Police.