Great Britain

Huge hunt sparked after mass escape of CROCODILES from breeding farm in South Africa

A FRANTIC hunt is on for dozens of highly dangerous CROCODILES after they escaped from a breeding farm in South Africa.

Around 30 of the reptiles have been recaptured but worried officials admit they have absolutely no idea how many are still on the loose.

They are thought to have fled through a broken fence at the farm near Bonnievale, on the Western Cape, before heading to nearby Breede River.

Local residents are now being urged to steer clear of the deadly predators, reports the BBC.

"Obviously, they are very dangerous," said Petro van Rhyn, of the region's environmental service, CapeNature.

"These are wild animals even though they've been in captivity. People must not approach them and stay clear of the river until all are captured."

The Nile crocodiles escaped on Wednesday and cops have now formed a special unit to catch them using baited cages placed along the riverbank.

Mr van Rhyn revealed: "Twenty-seven crocodiles have been captured since their escape.

“It is not known how many escaped in total. The juvenile crocodiles escaped through a wire fence which they managed to break through."

Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said the farm owner first noticed some of his animals were missing early on Wednesday.

“The holding camp houses specimens all within the size of 1.2m to 1.5m length," he said.

"It has been determined that some individual crocodiles managed to enter the Breede River, approximately 300 meter from the facility.

“CapeNature provided trap cages to the owner, which have been positioned on the riverbank with bait.

"This (hunt) will be increased with night patrols on the river with spotlights, in order to locate any other individual crocodiles.”

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