If you were planning on heading down to the Breede River this weekend, you may want to reconsider. There is still an ‘unknown number’ of crocodiles that made a daring dash for the murky waters on Wednesday at large.
A further seven crocodiles were retrieved by law enforcement teams on that included crocodile handlers deployed by CapeNature on Thursday, with farmers from the commercial breeding farm that the crocs escaped from joining in the search for the rest of the reptilian rascals.
Crocodiles escape through wired fence
Cape Nature spokesperson Petro van Rhyn confirmed that a total of 27 crocodiles have thus far been recaptured, and said that the young animals managed to escape their holding cages through wired fence that they managed to break through.
“Twenty-seven crocodiles have been captured since their escape from a breeding farm outside of Bonnievale on Wednesday morning.”
“It is not known how many escaped in total,” Van Rhyn said, adding that traps with bait have been placed strategically along the river in order to lure the crocodiles back to captivity.
Traps set to lure crocs back to captivity
Anton Bredell, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, urged the Bonnievale community and those in surrounding areas to avoid the Breede River for a few days and to keep an eye out for the escaped reptiles.
“An area about 5km upstream towards Robertson and 5km downstream towards Swellendam is the key area. CapeNature and their partners will continue to search for the animals and have set a number of humane traps with bait to attempt to recapture the animals that remain on the loose. Patrols on the river will be undertaken every night to catch these animals.”
“An unknown number remains at large and they have in all likelihood found their way to the Breede River, which runs in the vicinity.
“The crocodiles present medium danger to people because they are farmed animals, used to regular feeding and therefore do not hunt for their food. But they remain wild and instinctive animals and do pose a danger to the public.”