15,000 Crocodiles Escape; ‘A Few Thousand’ Recovered As Far As 75 Miles Away
Where's Steve Irwin when you need him?
Some 15,000 crocodiles escaped from a South African farm after their owner had to free them during a flood on Sunday. The 15,000 crocodiles escaped from the Rakwena Crocodile Farm when caretakers were forced to open some gates to prevent a storm surge from crushing the animals. Scary as it is to think of 15,000 crocodiles escaping near your home, what compounds the danger for local residents is that the crocs are swimming in floodwaters that are ravaging areas along the border with Botswana. According to a BBC report, one family had to be rescued after some of the 15,000 crocodiles that escaped were seen swimming in floodwaters near their home.
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"When we reached them, the crocodiles were swimming around them. Praise the Lord, they were all alive," Zane Langman, son-in-law of Rakwena's owner, told the local newspaper Beeld.
According to Langman, most of the 15,000 crocodiles escaped into the dense bush along the Limpopo river. Langman and his crew have been doing nocturnal croc hunting for days to try to recapture some of the 15,000 crocodiles that escaped. Crocs eyes glow red at night when hit by flashlights, an eerie signal for anyone imagining what it's like to try to safely handle that many predators. One was found at a school playground more than 75 miles from the farm.
"There used to be only a few crocodiles in the Limpopo river," he told Beeld. "Now there are a lot. We go to catch them as soon as farmers call us to inform us about crocodiles."
The 15,000 crocodiles that escaped were all Nile crocodiles that max out at around 20ft in length. The crocodiles are farmed for their skins, which are used to make handbags, belts and wallets. Even though they were farm raised, the 15,000 crocodiles that escaped still pose a danger to humans. According to National Geographic, Nile crocodiles are among the deadliest animals in Africa, responsible for an estimated 200 deaths per year.
Here's a video of some guys trying to catch one crocodile. Multiply by 15,000 to get an idea of what wildlife officials are in for as they try to catch the 15,000 crocodiles that escaped.
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