JOHANNESBURG — Calling all crocodile experts — South African police say they’re needed to help capture thousands of crocs out on the lam.
Thousands of the reptiles escaped from farms, including the Rakwena Crocodile Farm, along a river on the South Africa-Botswana border when gates were opened earlier this week to alleviate pressure caused by rising flood waters.
“Due to the number of crocodiles that have been washed away there is a need for expertise, people who have expertise to come and assist,” Hangwani Mulaudzi, a spokesman for the police in Limpopo Province, said Friday.
News reports show people hunting down smaller crocodiles at night, tying them up and taking them back to the farms. The crocodiles are easier to hunt at night because their eyes glow when hit with a beam of light. The farm’s website shows crocs up to 16 feet long, Mulaudzi said.
It isn’t clear exactly how many crocodiles are on the loose. Mulaudzi said he believes around 10,000 from multiple farms remain on the loose. Officials from the Rakwena Crocodile Farm have been quoted in conflicting South African media accounts as saying either 7,000 escaped or up to 15,000 escaped.
Read more on this story in Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.