Two Nile crocodiles measuring about two meters long sit atop rubble after part of a crocodile farm in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province was forcefully demolished on July 30. (Photo: Yangtze Evening Post)
BEIJING, Aug. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Two crocodiles remain on the loose on the outskirts of Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province after demolition crews partially destroyed a crocodile farm during the night on July 30 amid an ongoing property dispute, according to Yangtze Evening Post on August 13.
The farm owner surnamed Fan claims demolition crews hired by the local government tore down structures on his farm without notice, damaging walls that housed 16 adult Nile crocodiles averaging two meters long. One was killed by falling rubble during the demolition, while six others escaped.
Four were later recaptured in a nearby drainage ditch and two remain missing, reported the Yangtze Evening Post.
The crocodiles, which were imported from Thailand, are estimated to be worth tens of thousands of yuan. Fan describes the crocodiles as "feral" which require a diet of two kilograms of raw meat a day.
"There is a village nearby so things could get worse if they're not found." said Fan.
Local police has temporarily cordoned off the farm containing the remaining 13 crocodiles, and a search for the lost reptiles is underway.
A spokesman from the local sub-district administration office explained there had been a dispute with Fan over compensation ever since the farm had been slated for demolition since March.
A legal expert said the demolition team would be held responsible for any incident involving the escaped crocodiles.