Thieves steal fat at croc­o­dile farm


THE own­ers of Croc­o­dile Creek near Bal­lito are try­ing to re­cover from their losses af­ter bur­glars stole 75kg of croc­o­dile fat from their fridges on Sun­day.

The Croc­o­dile Creek farm is also home to rep­tiles and an­i­mals to view on tours. Owner Peter Wat­son sent out an SOS via so­cial me­dia ask­ing any­one to in­form him if they were of­fered or ob­served any­one sell­ing croc­o­dile fat or meat.

“Our freezer con­tainer has had the locks smashed again. A con­sid­er­able amount of stock was stolen. A num­ber of large and small croc­o­diles have been stolen and in­jured over the past year.

“It is the muti trade no doubt. Noth­ing is safe in our beau­ti­ful coun­try, not even croc­o­diles. One of these days the croc­o­diles will get lucky when these thefts take place at night,” he said.

Wat­son said that dur­ing the Covid19 lock­down they had closed for nearly five months. He cut staff to three peo­ple. “We en­dured mas­sive fi­nan­cial losses. It could be an in­side job. They know how or where to climb over my fence and high wall. A ran­dom per­son would not walk through a croc­o­dile en­clo­sure. We have been vic­tims three times in the past month alone.

“They also took frozen chick­ens that we feed to the croc­o­diles. There could be more than one per­son.

“We are not deal­ing with sheep or cat­tle. Five years ago, in 14 months we lost 305 croc­o­diles. They at­tract the croc­o­diles with baited hooks and pull them over the wall. It’s dif­fi­cult to count them in the ponds be­cause they stay sub­merged. Drain­ing the ponds would be dif­fi­cult,” Wat­son said.

Po­lice spokesper­son Cap­tain Nqo­bile Gwala said the in­ci­dent was not re­ported to the oth­on­gathi SAPS. Wat­son said the po­lice were aware of it.

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