You might have heard how a million cockroaches escaped from a roach nursery in China? Did you hear the one about the crocodiles?
Flooding in South China's Guangdong province damaged the enclosure at a crocodile farm in the city of Shantou, Chinese state media China Daily reports. The 11-hectare nursery held approximately 11,000 crocodiles to be slaughtered for meat products. As noted on MSN Japan, the number of escaped crocodiles could be as high as 1,400.
Online in China, there are rumours that "one thousand crocodiles" escaped from the nursery; however, the nursery, Shantou Xiesheng Breeding Co., is denying that number. "Even if one portion escaped," a nursery spokesperson told Asahi Shimbun, "one thousand is unbelievable."
According to MSN Japan, the official line was that only a couple dozen or so crocodiles escaped -- a claim that is making people suspicious online in China.
The crocodiles raised on the farm, it seems, were Siamese crocodiles, which are "critically endangered." They tend to feed mostly on fish and small mammals, and they are not known to be aggressive towards humans. That being said...
"Runaway crocodiles are very dangerous. We are very nervous that they may hurt people," Zhou Minghui, general manager of Shantou Xiesheng Breeding Co., said via UPI.
As of late last week, 20-seven crocodiles had been captured, and the nursery enclosure has been fixed. Thankfully, there have been no causalities, just lots of worried Shantou residents.
中国で「ワニ１千匹逃走」騒動 台風で養殖場の壁崩れる [Yomiuri]