Three young crocodiles were given a break when they were donated by a crocodile breeding project to the SanWild Wildlife Trust for re-introduction to the wild. For almost two years they were kept in a smaller enclose to give them time to grow some more.
Two years ago our counter poaching unit was called out to a site in the Letaba River where poachers had raided a crocodile nest and badly injured a large female crocodile. She was still alive when the unit arrived, but so badly injured that she was put down. On of her legs were completely severed and she had sustained bad injuries to her head. From the raided nest 5 eggs were recovered and we had high hopes that we could somehow get the eggs hatched to try and save some of the baby crocs, but this was not possible.
It was explained to us that when a crocodile lays her eggs the embryo attaches itself to the top of the egg and if the eggs should be moved incorrectly, the embryo will detach and die. It was unlikely that any of the eggs left behind when the crocodile nest was raided would hatch.
This was something we did not know at the time. The owner of the crocodile farm however agreed to donate the three young crocodiles to us as soon as we obtained the required conservation permits.
There was all-round excitement from our counter poaching unit was they got to do the honours of releasing the three young animals into one of our large dams.
The youngsters are slowly becoming self-sufficient, but in the interim can still be called out for some additional snacks.