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Escaped crocodiles captured in Guangdong

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou | | Updated: 2023-09-19 14:40
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Villagers capture a runaway crocodile on Sept 14, 2023. [Photo/]

All the runaway crocodiles from a farm in Maoming, Guangdong province, have been retrieved. The last one was captured on Monday night, according to Maoming's agriculture and rural affairs bureau.

The fierce reptiles, which escaped to local rivers, lakes, ponds and fields after the farm was flooded posed a serious threat to local residents and tourists in recent days, a statement released by the bureau said on Tuesday.

The farm, located in the district's Beijieluo village, was raising 71 Siamese crocodiles, including 69 adults and two hatchlings, when it was flooded by heavy rains brought by remnants of Typhoon Haikui on Sept 11. Each adult crocodile weighs about 100 kilograms.

To ensure the safety of local residents, authorities went all-out and introduced a series of measures to help search for and capture the escaped reptiles.

In addition to the establishment of 51 lookout posts along major roads near the area where the crocodiles had been living, about 1,000 personnel, including armed police, firefighters and civil militias were sent to patrol local lakes, ponds and fields to find the escaped crocodiles 24 hours a day, the statement said.

Local civil militias were allowed to shoot and kill any crocodile that threatened a resident's safety.

More than 10 water pump vehicles were used to work day and night to help pump water out of flooded lakes, ponds and fields during the search.

Meanwhile the local district government, as well as neighborhood and village committees, increased publicity and urged villagers near the farm to take precautions and keep away from nearby bodies of water.

Residents were also urged to limit their time outdoors, avoid fishing and seek help if they encountered an escaped crocodile.

No deaths or injuries were reported in the crocodile escape incident, the statement said.

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