Hatching a plan after Nile croc sighting

2012-01-05 00:00

EZEMVELO KZN Wildlife is making plans to capture a 2,3-metre Nile crocodile which was spotted on the banks of the Umgeni river last Thursday, and has asked for the public’s help in locating the creature.

EKZNW spokesperson Waheeda Peters said the crocodile was has only been spotted once on the banks of the river between the N2 north bridge and Springfield park bridge.

“The public need to be aware that this animal may pose a danger to them if they enter the water or are on the banks of the river.

“Crocodiles generally attack prey from under the water and are therefore generally invisible when hunting,” said Peters.

She said activities in the river or on the banks were not advisable for safety reasons at present.

Warning signs have been put up.

She urged the public not to harass the animal, but to immediately report the sighting to EKZNW.

“Ezemvelo staff are monitoring the situation, but are reliant on sightings from the public as the animal does not remain in the same area all the time,” she added.

The public are asked to report any sightings to Ezemvelo’s Johann Vermeulen on 082 931 8335, giving a landmark reference and the time the crocodile was spotted.

It is not unusual for crocodiles to appear in the Umgeni river system. Crocodiles have frequently been sighted by paddlers and sightings are publicly highlighted particularly when the Dusi canoe marathon approaches.

Crocodiles can travel long distances in the sea and overpopulation or floods may cause them to move from the estuaries where they hatched, such as St Lucia, according to Internet research.

They are also known to cross land to dams and tributaries, while others have escaped from crocodile farms or become unwanted “pets” and been dumped in rivers.

Crocodiles have previously been spotted in the upper Umgeni near Albert Falls dam (outside Pietermaritzburg) and Durban’s Inanda dam.

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