Mysterious crocodile appears in farm dam

2008-09-23 00:00

A crocodile has mysteriously appeared in a farm dam in the Ingomankulu area near Camperdown and farm owners have raised concerns about safety.

The crocodile, estimated to be at least one metre long, was discovered by one of the farm workers last month when he went fishing in the dam.

Farm owners now fear that there are more of the reptiles wandering around.

While the crocodile’s origins have not yet been established, speculation exists that it may have escaped or been released from a holding facility at the Farm Meshack. The property, owned by the Griffith family, has an animal farm on it where other animals, including crocodiles, are kept.

According to Farm Meshack owner Carl Griffith, there were five crocodiles at the animal farm, which is not administered by him, but now there are only two left.

Griffith said he has asked Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife (EKZNW) to remove the crocodile.

“They had to come in the evening because they said it would be easy to catch it when it’s dark,” he said.

However, he said, attempts to capture the reptile failed on Monday evening. He said the ranger on a small boat was inches away from the crocodile several times, but then it went under the muddy water.

After hours of slow paddling around the dam, the rangers gave up and went back to the drawing board for better strategies to capture the crocodile.

Griffiths quoted the EKZNW rangers as saying they would return late yesterday to try and capture the crocodile.

EKZNW spokesman Jeff Gaisford could not dismiss the allegations that the crocodile was released into the dam. “We can’t prove where it came from. It might have come from the nearby Pongola River looking for a smaller dam where it would not be threatened by bigger crocodiles.”

Gaisford said the reptile is not a threat at its current size, but he said it will be removed. “We will capture it and release it at St Lucia where it will find a suitable environment.”

sandilez@witness.co.za

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