Local reports recently surfaced in the Garden Route area, stating that multiple crocodiles had been spotted in the small rivers surrounding the Little Brak and Brandwag area. They were spotted by locals and were thereafter monitored by the ‘South Cape Hunters and Conservation Society’ members over a three-month period. It has been said the crocodiles escaped from a hatchery on a crocodile farm during flooding some years ago. The cattle farmer who recently purchased the farm has been researching ways to get rid of the +/- 500 breeding crocodiles in the hopes of preventing future scenarios.
A municipal spokesperson said that the Mossel Bay Municipality had distributed pamphlets to warn the public about their presence, but left the matter in the hands of CapeNature. Following the recent escapes of the crocodiles, Cape Nature approached us in the hopes of finding a solution for the problem.
We agreed to capture as many crocodiles as possible, and assist in distributing them to like-minded facilities. The total number of crocodiles that have escaped is still unknown… however it has been confirmed that there are still a large number of crocodiles (ranging from 1m to 3.5m) in the rivers.
On 12 December, Mr Andrew Eriksen (owner of Cango Wildlife Ranch) & a team of 11 staff (and 3 of our Wild Animal Volunteers) set out for an adventurous croc-wrangling day in the Brandwag area. Their mission was to capture all 500 (estimated) crocodiles. The crocs ranged from a mere 75cm to over 3m in length! Our experienced team left ‘no leaf unturned’ and managed to capture a whopping 494 crocodiles in just one day!
CapeNature approved removal of the crocodiles, with the goal being to avoid any incidents or possible attacks – making the area safe for the families who live there.
4 of the largest crocodiles captured, now find sanctuary in our Jumping Jaws exhibit while the rest were transported to a large crocodile farm near Bela-Bela in the Limpopo. A successful day was had, luckily with more sweat than blood and tears! Our team was fundamental in making the area safe for locals again, and most importantly… we saved nearly 500 crocodiles from slaughter by local farmers. Three cheers for our Croc-catchers!