More than 100 crocodiles are still on the loose in the Sand River region in Mpumalanga after a mass escape from a breeding farm.
April Lukhele, compliance monitoring manager at the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA), said 160 crocs escaped from Nola Farm, a breeding facility near Hazyview, but 52 had been recaptured.
“This happened around January 28 during heavy rains. Water flooded the property and that’s how the crocodiles escaped. The owners managed to capture 40 at that time and the MPTA was alerted by the community of sightings and caught 12.
“More than 100 are still missing. We suspect they might be in the Sand River and some may have reached the Sabie River or Hazyview,” Lukhele said.
He pleaded with communities staying close to rivers to stay away from the water until all the reptiles had been captured.
“We haven’t received complaints about attacks but we ask the public not to swim in the river or do rituals during this time until it is clear of the crocodiles.
“They can also be in dams in villages. Crocodiles can walk and settle themselves in dams. Our game management team is ready to capture more. So far we haven’t caught more in the cages we have placed,” Lukhele said.
Anyone who spots a crocodile in the area can report the sighting to authorities by calling 013-759-5300, 023-626-6309 or 082-807-1057.