Following their escape from a breeding farm in Bonnievale, Western Cape, an unknown number of rogue crocodiles are now facing being put down with a bullet to the head – the most humane way, reports News 24.
According to the news outlet, 20 out of 50 of the recaptured Nile crocodiles have been euthanised thus far. Authorities are still searching for the remaining escaped reptiles. With the number of those still on the loose yet unknown, authorities are unsure as to how many will need to be euthanised.
“It’s not as simple as euthanising a pet – the crocodiles are shot at close range through the head,” said CapeNature spokesperson, Petro van Rhyn.
The animals are unable to be darted due to their very thick skin.
“If they are on land, they will immediately move to water where they will die of certain drowning, obviously the same fate awaits them if they are darted in the water. Darting has never been an accepted way of capturing crocodiles,” added van Rhyn.
CapeNature’s original attempt at baiting the crocs proved to be unsuccessful. Overgrown river edges and dense vegetation added to the challenge.
“All crocodiles are returned to the farm they escaped from, including the bodies of those that have been put down,” said Van Rhyn.
Crocs are still being spotted in the Breede River. The recapture operation would likely continue until there are no more sightings.
“It remains the responsibility of the wildlife owner to adhere to the terms of their permit, usually awarded for a two-year period, and the owner of the Bonnievale facility could still face charges under the Nature Conservation Ordinance,” concluded Media 24.
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