Paddlers spot another big croc near Dusi race finish

2010-12-07 00:00

MEMBERS of Kingfisher Canoe Club have once again spotted an elusive crocodile.

They spotted the crocodile on the river bank while paddling along the Umgeni River at Blue Lagoon in Durban on Sunday afternoon.

A spokesperson for the Dusi Marathon, Ray de Vries, said in a statement that a number of paddlers based at Kingfisher Canoe Club at Blue Lagoon saw the reptile.

He said the crocodile, estimated to be two metres long, was spotted on the banks of the Umgeni downstream from the pedestrian bridge, which is a few hundred metres from Connaught Bridge.

“We have watched over the years as crocodiles were spotted lower and lower down on the route. Now there are three of them and they are getting quite big,” said DeVries.

He said there have been a number of sightings further up the river and the concern is that the crocodiles will shortly start breeding — if they haven’t already — and then it will be dangerous for both paddlers and locals.

“We are requesting all paddlers to leave the reptiles alone if they come across one and to report it to us at info@dusi.co.za.

“We will report it to the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife who will be laying croc traps this week,” De Vries said.

Xander Combrink, who is conducting a four-year study on crocodiles for KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife in the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park, said that historically, crocodiles have lived in that part of the river. He said it is possible that the reptile was taken from the river when it was still young and returned to the river when it was an adult.

Another possibility is that it escaped from a crocodile farm because there are many of them throughout KwaZulu-Natal.

Combrink said the crocodiles are not very dangerous because they are young, but added that they might scare people by being rebellious.

He warned the members of the public to report crocodile sightings in rivers that are not their known habitat to KZN Wildlife.

 

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