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16 February 2021

Thabazimbi – There has been several crocodile sightings in the Thabazimbi area over the past few weeks. Thabazimbi Crisis Control Centre’s Henk Havenga noticed a crocodile relaxing on the Crocodile River’s bank on Thursday 28 January.


According to Reptile Inc owner Petrus van Breda, thousands of hatchlings (baby crocodiles) escaped into the Crocodile River from two crocodile farms in the Brits area during the 2000 and 2004 floods.
“These babies should be up to three and a half metres in size by now." Petrus said in an interview with the Platinum Bushvelder. 


Community member Jakobus van der Merwe and his family stay next to the Crocodile River, about 12 kilometres outside Thabazimbi on the Brits road. He told us that ‘a lot’ of crocodiles is definitely not an understatement. “Over the past few years crocodiles have on several occasions climbed out of the river, taking a casual stroll in my yard, sometimes even taking a dip in my farm dam. Sadly, my dog was bitten by one of them. My neighbour had a big croc climb into his water hole not too long ago,” Jakobus added.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
When a crocodile bites, it starts to ‘tug and roll’ in an attempt to either drown their prey or to bite off chunks of meat, as a crocodile cannot chew. Petrus explained that there could be five crocodiles in every 10-meter of riverfront.


The best advice Petrus has, is to keep a safe distance from a crocodile – at least 15 to 20 meters or try to run away if you get into close proximity with one. Crocodiles are hunters and a 2-meter crocodile can do grave harm to a fully grown human, not to mention the damage a crocodile of 3.5 meter can do. 


If you see a crocodile, contact an expert to remove it, please do not attempt to do it yourself.
Thabazimbi Disaster Management’s Gerrie Visagie urges the community to keep out of the Crocodile River. “We do not know how many crocodiles there are in the river, we also do not know where exactly they are as the water is very murky. We spot them on the sandbanks every now and then, making swimming or walking near the river very dangerous. Please do not underestimate the enormous strength of these animals. Adding to that, the river's current is very strong, especially with the recent rains, making it dangerous."  

CROC EMERGENCY? CALL:
Petrus van Breda 
079 897 5611
Peet van Breda 
083 579 3139
Charles Jansen 
van Vuuren 
074 414 6138

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