During the raging floods in the Limpopo province of South Africa, 15,000 crocodiles escaped from Rakwena Crocodile Farm. The Telegraph had the story on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. To save the crocodiles, the flood gates were opened and the crocodiles escaped into Limpopo River.
"There used to be only a few crocodiles in the Limpopo River," said Zane Langman, the son-in-law of Johan Boshoff, who owns Rakwena. "Now there are a lot."
The Mirror reports that Langman had only captured a few thousand of the loose crocodiles which would have been crushed by the rising flood waters if left in their pens. The crocodiles have been displaced far and wide, The Mirror tells us.
One was spotted on a school rugby pitch and others have been found trapped in branches of trees after the flood waters fell.
Efforts at recapture usually happen at night because crocodile eyes shine red when light hits them. National Geographic has the following frightening details about the Nile crocodile, which averages 16 feet in length and 500 pounds, although they can actually grow to 20 feet long and 1650 pounds!
The Nile crocodile has a somewhat deserved reputation as a vicious man-eater. The proximity of much of its habitat to people means run-ins are frequent. And its virtually indiscriminate diet means a villager washing clothes by a riverbank might look just as tasty as a migrating wildebeest. Firm numbers are sketchy, but estimates are that up to 200 people may die each year in the jaws of a Nile croc.
The floods in South Africa have already resulted in 10 deaths in Limpopo province alone. It remains to be seen what the release of these thousands of man-eating crocodiles will ultimately bring about if not recovered quickly.