Survival of the fittest as Thamalakane river dries
FIGHTING FOR SPACE: Crocodiles and hippos near old bridge

Stay clear of old bridge-wildlife department warns

Four crocodiles were last week trapped in the drying Thamalakane river, next to the old bridge and taken to the Okavango Delta as the remaining ponds in the river continue to be crowded by stranded crocodiles and hippos.

Outgoing regional Wildlife officer in Maun, Timothy Blackbeard, says there could be more than 18 crocodiles and several hippos in the small pond next to the bridge, which has sparked public safety warning: “The river is very much dangerous. Some of the crocodiles captured there measure close to four meters long,” Blackbeard said

Issuing a warning for the public to stay clear of the river banks, especially around the old bridge he further stated, “The fish is getting depleted and the animals are hungry, sooner or later they will die, unless they have more water and food.”

Wildlife officers relocated some of the crocodiles after some village boys killed three and injured one on the head last week Thursday.

RELOCATED: Taken to the delta

The boys according to Wildlife department, had gone to the river to fish in the reptile infested pond; “It is a fight for survival of the fittest. People want to catch fish and animals do not want to be disturbed.”

In the crowded pond, Blackbeard says the animals are also fighting for space and dominance, “They are competing for space. Hippos fight each other, crocodiles are fighting amongst themselves and sometimes it is a fight between hippos and the reptiles.”

He even appealed to those who can, to bouse water into the pond so as to prolong the wildlife in the river as long as the dry spell continues’, “ The crocodiles can stay for long without food. They can stay for two years without eating, but they will need water for them to remain in the Thamalakane river, otherwise they will die,” he said.