Warning! Avoid the Breede River as Bonnievale crocs still on the loose, says Cape Nature

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Cape Nature members set traps for crocodiles that escaped from a farm.
Cape Nature members set traps for crocodiles that escaped from a farm.
Western Cape Government
  • Fishing and swimming should be avoided in the Breede River around Bonnievale, CapeNature has cautioned.
  • The conservation group is still carrying out search operations to recapture an unknown number of crocodiles in the area, which escaped from a nearby facility.
  • To date, 80 crocodiles have been recaptured.

Western Cape residents have been warned to avoid sections of the Breede River over the long weekend because an operation to recapture an unknown number of crocodiles in the area is still under way.

By Thursday, 80 crocodiles had been recaptured, CapeNature spokesperson Petro van Rhyn said. Forty-eight of those were euthanised.

The sub-adult Nile crocodiles escaped from a facility outside Bonnievale on 3 MarchIOL identified the farm as the Jan Hoppie Crocodile Farm.

READ | Investigation underway after 76 Bonnievale crocs captured

Most of them have since found their way to the Breede River, where patrols take place every night in an attempt to recapture them. The recapture operation is likely to continue until there are no more sightings of crocodiles in the area, according to Van Rhyn.

The public should avoid the area 5km upstream, towards Robertson, and 5km downstream towards Swellendam because all the crocodiles have been captured within this perimeter.

The crocodiles are unlikely to have moved beyond this area because they dislike rapidly flowing water and have ample reeded areas to hide in and good hunting grounds, she said.

"Don't fish or swim in the river as we're still unsure how many crocodiles might be on the loose. If anyone spots a crocodile, they should report it to Bonnivale SAPS," Van Rhyn said.

An investigation into the crocodiles' escape was launched last week, and the crocodile farm has been issued with an enforcement notice under the nature conservation ordinance, Van Rhyn added.

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