Vietnam to Reintroduce Crocodiles to Wild
Vietnam is set to reintroduce crocodiles to the wild later this year for the first time since the animal disappeared from the country's rivers and estuaries a decade ago, the official VNA news agency reported on Monday.
An initial batch of 25 is to be released in Cat Tien National Park, in Dong Nai province northeast of the commercial capital of Ho Chi Minh City, and will be joined by a further 15 before the end of the year, the news agency said.
The animals have been bred in captivity by the Ca Sau Hoa Ca Crocodile Company and will first undergo DNA testing by scientists from Australia's Queensland University to ensure they are Siamese crocodiles, the freshwater species formerly native to Vietnam.
Both the Siamese crocodile and its saltwater cousin, the Estuarine crocodile, have gone unsighted in the wild here for the past decade.
The chosen crocodiles are all to be given a crash course on survival in the wild, the news agency said, although it gave no details on how the training would be provided.
Ironically Mother Nature may already have preempted the government's reintroduction scheme.
Earlier this month an amazed fisherman in the flood-stricken Mekong Delta caught a 25 kilogram (55 pound) crocodile in his net and villagers elsewhere in An Giang province have also reported sightings.
Officials said they believed the opportunistic animals had taken advantage of the region's worst floods in nearly 40 years to escape from one of the province's growing number of crocodile farms -- HANOI (AFP)
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