Coast KZN

20 Oct 2016

Three metre croc chases canoeist

Vanisha Moodley (South Coast Herald)


I could hardly believe my eyes

Dip a toe into Scottburgh’s popular Mahlongwa River at your  peril.

You could be in for a nasty surprise as a juvenile Nile crocodile – first spotted some years ago – has… grown up!

The croc has now been affectionately named ‘Tick-Tock’ after the one that swallowed a clock in J M Barrie’s Peter Pan.

Local businessman and canoeist Elliot Hall spotted it recently and estimated that it had now grown to about three meters.
And he’s backed up by Canoe Club chairman Colin Simpkins.

Mr Simpkins, who has been canoeing in the river for about 10 years, almost ‘aquaplaned’ with his K1 last Wednesday when he came close to the monster resting on a sandbank.

Everyone always knew about the existence of smallish crocodiles in the river and really thought nothing of it.

“We saw this one often in the past two years, but thought nothing of it as it was the size of a lizard.

“I could hardly believe my eyes when I came across it last week and it had grown to three metres or even longer. It must weigh about 100kg,” said Mr Simpkins.

To his surprise, the crocodile dived into the river, swam towards his canoe and attempted to board it.
“It has done this several times to myself and other paddlers. The only difference this time was that it had grown to a scary size.”

A crocodile measuring about 2.5 metres was caught by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife last Thursday and relocated to St Lucia Crocodile Centre.

Communications officer Musa Mntambo said they were patrolling for ‘Tick-Tock’ and others.
Nobody seems to know where the crocodiles originated from, but canoeists are calling for warning signs to be put up to safeguard holidaymakers and people living near the banks of the river.