Copesville: Cops shoot escaped croc, owner says it was no threat

2009-10-26 00:00

A CROCODILE measuring almost three metres was shot dead yesterday at Copesville after it escaped from the Crafty Duck animal farm in Bishopstowe.

Local reptile expert Mark Enslin expressed his sadness at the fact that the crocodile was killed, saying it had not threatened any human settlement.

Enslin said the crocodile escaped through a hole in the fence at the farm. “It was crossing a road at around 4 am when a policeman saw it. He called other policemen and it was shot with a 9 mm pistol in the head and an R5 rifle in the body.”

Enslin said the croc was estimated to be 25 years old, weighed 147 kg and measured 2,95 metres. “It was a very healthy animal.”

A policeman told The Witness that the crocodile forced its way through a gap in the fence of its holding pen at Crafty Duck and wandered over a kilometre to where it was discovered on a road in Copesville.

Detective Inspector Riaan van Rooyen confirmed the incident and said it is being investigated.

The co-owner of Crafty Duck, Basil Mauer, said he believes the fence to the crocodile’s enclosure was cut deliberately.

“It was a malicious act to let him out.” He said the croc, of which they were very fond, was frightened by loud bangs, and following the Diwali fireworks in the area, it became frightened during the big storm on Saturday night and escaped.

“It was here in its enclosure at 7 pm, because visitors to the restaurant … saw it.”

Mauer expressed sadness that they were not given the opportunity to recapture the crocodile.

“We could have taken a trailer down there, tapped him with a broomstick and got him into a cage and brought him back.”

Mauer said the crocodile was rescued as a baby from a farmer who wanted to euthanase it.

“He was beautiful. He would not have been aggressive and was hundreds of metres from the nearest house.

“We are very saddened that the police shot it before calling us.”

Mauer said they have not opened a case in connection with the cutting of the fence.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan confirmed the incident and said police will investigate the incident.

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