Over 70 crocodiles escape Chinese farm amid heavy flooding
Beijing: Authorities in the city of Maoming in China’s Guangdong province have launched an operation to capture more than 70 crocodiles that escaped from a commercial farm amid heavy flooding triggered by torrential rain that lashed the region, the media reported.
At least 69 adult crocodiles and six juveniles were on the loose near the village of Peng Cun, CNN quoted the local SHai Bao News as saying in a report on Tuesday.
Local authorities have warned residents not to venture out, the outlet said.
An emergency force has been deployed to locate the missing reptiles using sonar detection equipment, according to The Beijing News.
But the depth of the floodwater is posing as an immense challenge to the operation, it added.
A member of the emergency squad told Nanfeng Plus that they may have to euthanise the crocodiles rather than capture them.
Photos and videos on social media showed some of the crocodiles lurking behind a road sign near a completely submerged road, CNN reported.
Several crocodiles were also seen being captured and brought back to land, with their mouths and limbs tied up to restrict movement.
In China, crocodiles are prized for their skin and the meat is believed to have medicinal value in traditional medicine.
Guangdong is a popular location for crocodile farms due to its relatively warmer climate.