3 Men Arrested in South Africa for Stealing Large Crocodile


Three guys were detained in South Africa on Monday for stealing a 2.5-meter (8-foot) long Nile crocodile worth approximately $1,300 from a farm in the North West region, according to police.

The guys, aged 20 to 35, are thought to have used a pick-up truck to transport the crocodile from a crocodile farm in the Hartbeesfontein area, around 200 kilometers (124 miles) west of Johannesburg.

The crocodile was discovered in an abandoned farmhouse, bound with rope and wire. According to authorities, the males attempted to conceal it by covering it with tree branches. The police also discovered the pick-up truck. The men were apprehended last week and are expected in court on Monday.

Police are investigating how they managed to get the large crocodile out of the farm, which had secure fencing, police spokeswoman Col. Adele Myburgh said.

“How did they slip this animal out?” she said. “It’s not a baby crocodile by any means.”

Myburgh said the crocodile was badly dehydrated when it was found by a team of police officers and animal conservation officials.

The crocodile has been “returned to its rightful owner,” police said. They released a photo of it swimming in its pool at the farm.

While South Africa has a problem with poaching, crocodiles are not normally targeted because of how dangerous they are.

Myburgh said that the motive of the theft was still under investigation but crocodile body parts like the skin, nails and teeth do have value and the men might have been planning to kill the animal and sell its parts.

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