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On Wednesday, 3 March 2021, an unknown number of subadult Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) escaped from a legal breeding facility outside of Bonnievale.

The juvenile crocodiles managed to escape through a hole in a wired fence. They range in sizes from 1.2m to 1.5m.

CapeNature is leading a collective effort with the facility owner, local landowners and the South African Police Service to recapture the escaped crocodiles.

To date 27 (twenty-seven) crocodiles have been recaptured and returned to the facility. Dr Razeena Omar, CEO of CapeNature explained that the efforts include, “setting up of humane trap cages with bait on the riverside of the Breede River to attempt to recapture the remaining animals on the loose. Patrols on the river will be undertaken every night to catch these animals.” An area about 5km upstream towards Robertson and 5km downstream towards Swellendam is the key area for surveillance and capture.

The public is urged to stay clear of this part of the river. Landowners and community members on the riverbank have been informed of the situation.

The public is urged to not attempt to approach any crocodiles, but to immediately report any sightings to the Bonnievale SAPS on 023-616 8060 which set up a dedicated task team to deal with this incident.