CAIRO: A 50-acre piece of land in Upper Egypt’s Aswan will be allocated to establish the first crocodile lake in the country, Youm7 quoted an official at Ministry of Environment.
Bely Hatab, manager at department of nature protection at the ministry, told Youm7 that the chosen land is 2 km away from Lake Nasser; home to over 32,000 crocodiles, according to latest statistics.
Water will be lifted from Lake Nasser and pumped into the to-be-established crocodile farm, Hatab added.
He noted that the land will be purchased from its owner, be it the governorate or any other ministry, and a protocol is expected to be signed with the National Company for Fisheries.
Per Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES,) which Egypt has signed, fishing in Lake Nasser is prohibited.
Hatab assured that the new farm will not be filled with crocodiles from the lake, but will be provided by the hatches of crocodile eggs left on the shore, noting that one crocodile lay between 30-50 eggs, while only few got to the water.
On the other hand, Hatab explained that besides the collection of the eggs, Egypt aims to reiterate its appeal to CITES to allow taking 750 crocodiles “as a safe limit,” to put them in the new farm.
Unlike the crocodiles in the lake, the crocodiles breading in the farm will be fed regularly and consequently grow faster and healthier, according to Hatab.
He also noted that Egypt can achieve profit by manufacturing the skin of the crocodiles after reaching four meters, where its price could make up to $4000.
In January, a number of crocodiles were captured in Cairo Nile River, where officials denied the spotted crocodiles came from Lake Nasser as they “cannot swim this long distance,” suggesting that they might be illegally raised by residents who possibly threw them after they grew up and represented danger to their children.
Illegal hunting of crocodiles in Lake Nasser in Upper Egypt’s city of Aswan, 1,200 km far from Cairo, reportedly takes place in violation with international laws prohibiting the practice. The practice tends to make use of crocodile skins and products in illegal trade.