A DAM FOR SAM
March 2004, Botswana. On the banks of the Okavango River, a
croc farm, Krokovango, miraculously emerged out of the hot
Kalahari sand in less than 6 months, and today hosts more than
5000 crocs. This commercial croc farm plan on exporting top
quality skins by the end of this year.
On the farm there are 200 adult crocodiles
imported from South Africa that will hopefully start breeding in
the next two years. In meanwhile, while waiting for the farms
own breeding adults to lay eggs, Krocovango every year applied
and obtained permits from Botswana Wildlife Department to
harvest a certain quota eggs from the natural River system.
Because of the drastic decline of the fish
population in the river, crocodiles are forced to look for other
food recourses. These crocs now concentrate on certain drinking
points used by cattle, donkeys and goats. Local villagers also
make use of these water points to collect water and do laundry.
Therefore the lives and property of the villagers are in a
constant danger. Permits are issued by the Department of
Wildlife to eliminate problem crocodiles from the system, and
Krokovango then capture the crocs. The crocodiles then form
part of the breeding program of the farm. And this is how
Krokovango met Sam.
Sam was caught in February 2005, in the
Samochima lagoon. His name given by the villagers originated
from Samochima, their village lagoon. Sam positioned
himself at one of these drinking points and regularly helped
himself to a cow or a donkey. The villagers reported this
problem croc to the local Wildlife offices, who then asked
Krokovango to capture the animal. Twice Sam escaped from the 4
meter trap and it was then realized, that an extension had to be
fitted to the box to capture the monster. The whole village
cheered while Sam, who was to heave to carry, was towed by a 4x
wheel drive tractor to his new home. Unfortunately the 5 meter
monster was to big to be put with any of the other breeding
animals, and so Sam was placed in the farms Retirement Home.