Over R330 000 has been spent to find more than 80 crocodiles that escaped from a breeding farm in Bonnievale, authorities have said, according to a report.
IOL reported on Tuesday that more than R330 000 has been spent so far to try and find the crocodiles, as more of the reptiles have been recently spotted.
It’s been three months since an unknown number of crocodiles escaped from the Jan Hoppie farm just outside Breede Valley. The reptiles escaped through a hole in a fence and made their way into the Breede River.
The estimated costs incurred during the operation to recover as many crocodiles as possible stood at R336 894, the report quoted Western Cape Legislature MEC for Local Government, Anton Bredell, as saying.
CapeNature spent R210 497 and SAPS came in at R126 397, Bredell said.
Potential impact on tourism
EWN reported in March that there was an investigation into whether the farm owner breached permit regulations amid concern for the ecology of the Breede River and the potential impact on tourism at the riverside campsites.
“It will be completed once all the available evidence has been investigated and considered,” CapeNature’s spokesperson Petro van Rhyn was quoted as saying.
The crocodiles are subadults, ranging from 1.2 metres to 1.5 metres in length, according to Daily Maverick.
“From that perspective, they’re not that dangerous, but with children – you don’t want them to encounter crocodiles,” the report quoted Corné Claasen, the operations manager at CapeNature as saying.
Warning alerts were issued to exercise caution and avoid swimming or fishing in the rivers within a 5km radius of where the crocodiles escaped, the report said.
Thus far, 83 crocodiles have been recaptured, of these, 51 had been shot and 32 captured alive.
Picture: Cape Town etc gallery