A member of the public was driving down Jimmy Smith Street near Sandbaai Hall on Monday 24 November when she noticed something strange in the road. At first she thought it was a plastic toy, but upon closer inspection she realised that it was a metre-long juvenile crocodile heading for the greenbelt. When she stopped her car and got out to take a photo, the crocodile panicked and went to a house on the opposite side of the road.

PHOTO: Rene Dewar

After going under the house’s gate, the crocodile turned around and started back across the road towards the greenbelt. The woman alerted the owner of the house, who grabbed the crocodile and went back into his property without saying a word.

Hearing about the incident from one of their volunteers , Peter Hansen from HAWS contacted CapeNature. Upon arrival at the house, CapeNature, HAWS and SAPS were told by the owner that the animal was not a crocodile but a leguan (large lizard), and that it was no longer there. However, after a search of the premises, the crocodile was found lying under the duvet on a bed, where it apparently sleeps with the owner’s son.

Several snakes without permits were also found on the premises, along with a hedgehog (which is illegal in the Western Cape). When confronted, the owner said that his son was an animal lover. Nevertheless, the public is reminded that wild animals do not belong in suburbia, especially without a proper permit. The man was fined by CapeNature for contravening the law.

This was the second animal, which could have posed a danger to the community, to escape from the property. In September the same man also lost a boa constrictor for a month, which was eventually found by his neighbour. HAWS contacted Johnathan Powers of Snake Removals Hermanus to pick it up and he took the sickly snake to a vet for treatment for a lung infection.

Between them HAWS and Snake Removals Hermanus not only deal with domestic pets and snakes, but can be called to assist with a variety of other animals. They will also know who to contact for the animal in question.

Important contact numbers for animal collection:
Hermanus Animal Welfare – 028 312 1281
Snake Removals Hermanus – 082 352 6000
CapeNature – 087 087 9262
Law Enforcement – 028 313 5300

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Was the crocodile confiscated?