A large number of crocodiles have escaped from a commercial crocodile breeding farm at Bonnievale in the Boland on Thursday morning.
According to police, the owner of the farm discovered some crocodiles escaped from one of the holding camps within the facility. Approximately 25 crocodiles were re-captured during the course of the morning.
Local Government and Environmental Affairs spokesperson, James-Brent Styan says the crocodiles range in size from one-point-two metres to one-point-five metres. He says 20 of them have been captured so far. An unknown number is still missing
"They have in all likelihood found their way into the Breede River, which does pass close by the vicinity of where these crocodiles managed to escape. Cages and traps have been set to catch the escapees who remain on the run. The operation will continue until all the crocodiles have been captured. People in the vicinity are urged to keep an eye out for crocodiles and to contact the authorities in the event of spotting any of these animals."
He assured residents that 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 are wild and instinctive animals and, like all wild animals, always pose a danger to people.”
Police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said the search will continue until all crocodiles are captured.
“CapeNature provided trap cages to the owner, which has been positioned on the riverbank with bait, in an attempt to recapture the escaped individuals. This will be increased with night patrols (police and CapeNature) on the river with spotlights, in order to locate any other individual crocodiles.
Bonnievale SAPS urge any member of the community to contact the police immediately should any of the escaped crocodiles been noticed.”