83 Crocodiles accounted for
A total of 83 young Nile crocodiles have been recaptured or euthanised over the past three months following a mass escape from a crocodile breeding farm in the Bonnievale area in March.
The crocodiles, ranging in size from 1.2m to 1.5m, escaped and made their way to the Breede River, which passes in the vicinity. The escape was caused by crocodiles finding a weak spot in the perimeter fencing of one of the enclosures; crocodiles are well-known for escaping.
Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning says 51 crocodiles have been euthanised and 32 were captured alive. Two more crocodiles are believed to remain at large.
“According to CapeNature, these two crocodiles have been spotted, but not yet been retrieved. No other sightings have been reported recently and the recent rains and flooding of the Breede River appear not to have had any impact on their movements.”
Bredell says the recapture operations have been scaled down, but CapeNature will continue with at least one nightly river patrol per week with the aid of landowners. “The investigation into the alleged transgressions of the facility owner is currently being concluded and a decision will be taken soon towards any further action against the owner.”
Bredell says the crocodile facility was comprehensively inspected by CapeNature following the escape, and repair work to the enclosure where the escape took place was completed to the standard dictated by the CapeNature fencing policy for crocodile facilities.
“I want to thank the teams on the ground who have worked hard over the past three months to recapture the animals. This includes teams from CapeNature and the Police diving unit as well as various landowners in the area.
Spokesperson for the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell
Mobile: 084 583 1670
Telephone: 021 483 2820