Hunt is on as near hundred hungry crocodiles out on streets after China flooding

A representational image of crocodiles.—AFP/file
A representational image of crocodiles.—AFP/file

During the flooding caused by Typhoon Haikui in southern China, dozens of crocodiles escaped from a breeding farm, raising concerns and requiring local authorities to take action.

Approximately 75 crocodiles fled when a lake in Maoming, Guangdong province, overflowed due to the typhoon’s heavy rains. While some were successfully recaptured, local authorities decided to shoot or electrocute others “for safety reasons.”

So far, Chinese state media have reported that eight of the reptiles have been rounded up, leaving dozens still at large. Nearby villagers have been advised to stay at home as authorities work to address the situation.

Typhoon Haikui has wreaked havoc across several Asian regions, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan, over the past week. In southern China alone, seven people have been killed, and three remain missing due to landslides and flooding caused by the typhoon, which has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

According to Maoming’s Emergency Management Bureau, 69 adult and six juvenile crocodiles escaped during the flooding. While no casualties have been reported, officials acknowledged that some crocodiles are still in deep water. Emergency services have been employing sonar equipment to locate and manage the situation.

A staff member at the district’s emergency bureau commented, “It is currently under control, but the number of crocodiles that escaped is a bit high.”

Most of the recaptured crocodiles have been shot to death, as confirmed by one firefighter speaking to Chinese media. These reptiles are identified as Siamese crocodiles, which are freshwater species known to grow to nearly 10 feet (around 3 meters) in length, according to the UK Zoo Crocodiles of the World. The captured adult crocodiles weigh an average of about 75 kilograms and measure over 2 meters in length.

Maoming, located in Guangdong province, is home to several crocodile farms where the reptiles are bred for their skin and meat.


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