“Fugitive Crocodiles” of Egypt “on the run”

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The Nile crocodile has long been absent from Egypt’s Nile, where it once ruled the river alongside hippopotamus. Unlike hippos however, crocodiles have not gone completely locally extinct in the country. Lake Nasser—the huge reservoir in southern Egypt, created when the Aswan High Dam was built in 1970—is one of the largest man-made lakes in Africa, and has become a vital habitat for many varieties of fish and mammals, resident and migrating birds, and reptiles including Egypt’s remaining population of crocodiles. The dam has acted as a barrier for animals traveling down the river, toward Luxor and Cairo. But for crocodiles who do wind up downriver, they have apparently acquired the name “fugitives,” at least according to recent articles by Ahram Online. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/186125/Egypt/Politics-/Fugitive-crocodiles-spotted-in-canal-in-Cairo-neig.aspx

Egypt’s environment minister has said around three fugitive crocodiles have been located in a roadside canal in the Cairo suburb of Matariya, while locals allege a larger number of the reptiles have been seen on the run.

…the crocodiles are likely to either have been thrown there by locals who raise them at home but later get rid of them when they get bigger, or they escaped enclosures in farms that keep them to utilise their skins as leather. After being captured, the crocodiles are often sent to the Giza Zoo.

2015-635823341902949140-294In November 2015, a 90-centimeter Nile crocodile was captured by Egyptian authorities in an irrigation canal in Giza’s Nahya district. The environmental ministry, with the help of experts from the Nature Reserve Authority (NRA) in Upper Egypt, was able to capture the reptile by setting traps and decreasing the water level in the area’s drainage system. The crocodile was sent to the Giza Zoo to be examined by veterinarians with plans to later free the reptile into Lake Nasser in Upper Egypt. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/0/162770/Egypt/0/Wild-crocodile-removed-from-Giza-irrigation-canal-.aspx

In 2013, Aswan was planning to capture a 3 meter (nearly 10 foot) long crocodile weighing 200kg spotted near the city’s Low Dam. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/0/68141/Egypt/0/Massive-crocodile-found-in-Egypts-Aswan.aspx

According to studies made in 2013, crocodile numbers in Lake Nasser have slumped dramatically due to illegal overfishing and poaching amid the security vacuum, dropping by half over the past few years: only 41 crocodiles were found recently in Khor Korosko, part of the lake where crocodiles live, compared to 81 three years ago. Large crocodiles are captured because their skin fetches very high prices, and are still a commodity of tourism, both alive and dead. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/82444/Egypt/Politics-/Dozens-of-crocodiles-stolen-from-Egypts-Lake-Nasse.aspx

Beginning in 2010, Egypt’s Ministry of Environment embarked on a campaign against the illegal trade of Nile crocodiles, who currently face the threat of extinction, while being used as tourist attractions, displayed in bazaars, and hotels.

The environmental police noticed several irregularities in Luxor governorate, where at least five crocodiles were found on display in cages. Those crocodiles were confiscated to be released into Lake Nasser, in accordance with the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) agreement which considers alligators one of the most endangered species.  http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/0/1875/Egypt/0/Ministry-of-Environment-fights-crocodile-trade.aspx

Fugitive crocodiles spotted in canal in Cairo neighbourhood — http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/186125/Egypt/Politics-/Fugitive-crocodiles-spotted-in-canal-in-Cairo-neig.aspx

CrocodilesRescue workers attempting to capture a fugitive crocodile in Nahya town in Giza, November 4, 2015 (Photo: Giza Zoo Facebook page)

Egypt’s environment minister has said around three fugitive crocodiles have been located in a roadside canal in the Cairo suburb of Matariya, while locals allege a larger number of the reptiles have been seen on the run.Minister Khaled Fahmy said late Wednesday more than one crocodile has been pinpointed, including a 30 centimetre-long one, stopping short of providing an exact count.

“What we have pinpointed is more than one. There could be two or three,” Fahmy said in TV comments aired by privately-owned satellite channel Dream TV.

One of the locals who has filed a complaint to the government alleged “five or six” of the reptiles have been seen at the Ismailiya Canal, terrifying residents of the area.

“They have appeared and we’ve seen them. Everyone is terrified,” Mohamed said in TV comments Wednesday.

He claims the fugitive crocodiles measure up to 1.5-2 metres long.

The minister said special workers are currently surveying segments of the canal to capture the animals.

He said the crocodiles are likely to either have been thrown there by locals who raise them at home but later get rid of them when they get bigger, or they escaped enclosures in farms that keep them to utilise their skins as leather.

After being captured, the crocodiles are often sent to the Giza Zoo.

Several similar incidents have occurred in recent months. In November, a crocodile measuring 90 centimetres was captured in the sewage system in Nahya village in Giza, south of Cairo. It is now kept at the zoo.

Another crocodile was captured in a sewege system in Beni Suef in December.

One response to ““Fugitive Crocodiles” of Egypt “on the run”

  1. Pingback: استقصاء علمي في ظهور التماسيح في مصر | JAWDA

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