Most of the crocodile work we are involved in requires the capture of problem crocodiles. These are animals that have moved into farm dams or too far up the river systems and pose a potential threat to domestic and other animals and people. Other work includes medical testing and relocations.


The easiest way to catch a crocodile is to set a cage with bate. 99% of the time the crocs will enter the cage at night, either the first or second night after being set. These are extremely instinctive animals and just can -not resist the temptation of a free meal. Once caught the crocs are sedated with a pole syringe injection through the cage to be able to determine exact size, sex, condition and weight. Within any given summer season, from about October to March, the Game Management team recover approximately 50 problem crocodiles. They are all stored in holding dams at a MTPA facility from where they are put out on tender for sale. There is a sliding scale tariff of Rand per Centimeter for the different size categories of the crocodiles.


There are instances however when the cage trap is not possible and the good old rope and hold on method is used. This is obviously not the preferred method as it is highly stressful on the animal and the capturer. It’s good for TV but for practical management of these deadly creatures in Mpumalanga, its only used in very few situations.


On many an occasion Game management have received a call from farmers worried about a hippo who has accidentally fallen into the round concrete farm dam and cant get out. We then respond by lowering a crate into the dam with the hippo and tease them with a white plastic bag on the end of a stick into the crate. This method has yealded great results.


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