Chinese city hunts for dozens of crocodiles

World Wednesday 13/September/2023 07:37 AM
By: DW
Chinese city hunts for dozens of crocodiles

Chinese media reported on Tuesday that more than 70 crocodiles had escaped after deluges in Guangdong province caused a lake at a crocodile farm to overflow.

Authorities asked residents around the city of Maoming to stay inside as the severity of deluges hampered the search for the reptiles.

"Crocodiles are still in the water, and several government departments are working to catch them," the state-affiliated China National Radio (CNR) reported, citing the local agriculture office.

"The specific situation is still under investigation," CNR said, adding that the exact number of animals still on the loose was not known.

The newspaper Beijing News said emergency forces were sent to locate the escaped crocodiles with the help of sonar equipment.

Authorities said the high water levels had made the search difficult, and asked residents to stay indoors.

Footage showed responders in red uniforms searching flooded fields in rescue boats. In other images, crocodiles could be seen that had already been captured with their mouths and limbs tied together.

Crocodiles are bred in China for their skin as well as their meat, which is sometimes used in traditional Chinese medicine.

At least 69 grown crocodiles and six younger ones were kept at a farm near the lake that burst its banks, allowing the creatures to escape.

CNR also said the affected area was also home to a "crocodile theme park."