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More than 70 crocodiles escape amid floods in southern China

Emergency operations are in full swing in the southern Chinese city of Maoming after heavy flooding caused more than 70 crocodiles to escape from a commercial farm. State media confirmed the incident, which saw adult and juvenile reptiles roaming near the village of Peng Cun.

Due to heavy rains, a local lake overflowed, giving the crocodiles an unwanted ticket to freedom. Authorities quickly advised local residents to stay indoors for safety as they scrambled to launch an emergency response.

With 69 adults and six minors reported missing, search teams mobilized sonar detection equipment to locate and capture the creatures, The Beijing News reports. However, heavy flooding has proven to be a challenge for the operation.

Given the potential danger and complications of the rescue mission, some members of the emergency team suggested they might have to euthanize the reptiles.

Social media in China is full of videos showing the situation. In some images, crocodiles can be seen lurking near submerged roads, while others depict the emergency force, identifiable by their helmets and reflective vests, maneuvering boats to find the escaped animals. The videos also show captured crocodiles, with their mouths and limbs secured, being returned to safety as locals watch curiously from the sidelines.

Crocodiles are highly valued in China, prized for both their skin and meat, which many believe have medicinal benefits in traditional Chinese medicine. Guangdong, because of its warmer climate, is a hot spot for crocodile breeding.

This incident follows closely on the heels of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haikui, which recently caused massive rainfall in southern China and Hong Kong.

This article is sourced from and written by AI.

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