Ezemvelo destroys three metre croc in uMgeni River

Provincial conservation organisation, Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, has shot and killed a three metre Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) that it said had long plagued residents along the lower reaches of the Umgeni River.

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The river hosts the finish of the world-renowned Dusi Canoe Marathon, and is also frequented by anglers and leisure canoeists and kayakers. According to KZN Wildlife spokesperson, Musa Mntambo, numerous failed attempts had been made to safely trap the crocodile over the previous four years, before a final decision to shoot the predator was made.

“Over the years the crocodile had become three metres long. It had begun bothering dogs along the banks of the Umgeni River. It was also posing a danger to people using the river,” Mntambo said. KZN daily, The Witness, reported that many Durban residents were upset at the shooting of the croc. The newspaper quoted Dusi Canoe Marathon spokesperson, Ray de Vries, as saying that in his 19 year involvement with the race he had never heard of canoeists being attacked by a crocodile, although there had been many sightings over the years of crocodiles in the Umgeni River.

Cedric Coetzee, KZN Wildlife’s General Manager: East Region said, “The destruction of the crocodile was taken as a preventative measure. We have no doubt that the crocodile would have soon attacked human beings. We could not wait for that to happen, hence our decision to destroy it.” On average Nile crocodiles grow to 4,1m to 5m long and weigh around 410kg. However, specimens of 6,1m long, and weighing up to 900kg, are not uncommon.

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