Crocodile spotted in Ashburton farm dam where people fish and children play

2010-05-13 00:00

THE sight of a crocodile, over a metre long, in a small fishing dam on a Pietermaritzburg farm fascinated friends who were driving along the N3 yesterday afternoon.

Robin Withers (34) and his friend Kevin Tyrer (33) saw the crocodile basking on the side of small dam on a farm between Ashburton and Lynnfield Park.

“We were driving from Umlaas Road towards Pietermaritzburg on the N3 when we saw this crocodile lying on the side of the dam. We just took a turn on the Ashburton offramp and drove to the farm,” said Withers.

Upon seeing the men approach, the reptile slithered into the water, but it later emerged in the reeds where it lay still. “We decided to take a closer look because it is not common to find a crocodile on a farm,” said Withers.

On the other side of the dam the footprints of children could be seen, along with what Tyrer described as crocodile droppings. There was also fishing bait.

“Crocodiles do not belong in places like this where people fish and children swim. I think it should be removed,” said Tyrer.

Other residents of Lynnfield Park said they have seen two crocodiles in other local dams. Although they like them because they are part of nature, they feel that they should be relocated.

“I have seen two crocs in the last year. Last time I saw one was on Friday,” said a 67-year-old resident, who asked to remain anonymous. She said one of the reptiles is more than a metre long while the other is about two metres.

“I am not frightened of crocodiles. I look for them every day, but my domestic [worker] is very frightened,” she said. She added that she would never dare get into the dams.

Crocodile farmer Victor Hugo (58), who owns a Ishona Langa Wildlife Sanctuary in the Mpushini area, said he is removing the stray reptiles from the dams.

“These crocodiles are too young to be of harm to children. But in two weeks’ time I will catch them,” he said.

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