SABC News - Search for missing Limpopo crocodiles intensifies:Saturday 26 January 2013

Search for missing Limpopo crocodiles intensifies

Saturday 26 January 2013 00:45


About 15 000 crocodiles got out of their enclosure this week.

About 15 000 crocodiles got out of their enclosure this week. (SABC)

Limpopo police say they have intensified their search for thousands of crocodiles that were swept away from a crocodile farm in the Pondrift area.

About 15 000 crocodiles got out of their enclosure this week. Rescuers are combing the Limpopo River, and the farm owner says it may take up to two months to capture the remaining crocodiles.

Police spokesperson Hlongwane Mlaudzi says the process is on-going. "I'm told that it is much easier in the evening, they can be easily seen because of their eyes when a torch is used. It's a 24-hour operation."

One of the rescuers, Khumbulani Ncube describes how they're capturing the reptiles.

"Since the floods every day we go on taking crocodiles all over the place and catch them. We tie them and put in solution tape on its mouth. So it fights us but so far anyone hasn't been bitten. For now we don't have any feeling for crocodiles, I don't even feel that it can bite anyone. Of course, it's too bad because the crocodile is a dangerous animal you can't tame a crocodile like some other animal but I just do it because I'm used to it, I'm 10 years in this industry.”

Farm manager Zane Langman says they have about 15 000 crocodiles on the farm, but it's not clear how many were swept away.

"We're mainly focusing on the stuff that is closest to the farm and in the farm's boundary. There's still a lot that are between the orange trees and in the grass flats and at night time they come out easily, we battle during time. As the water is going down they're starting to look for water in the river and moving towards to the river," said Langman.

He added that if they hit that “percent” every night in 50 days, they will have at least half of the crocs back.



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