Mexico crocodile escape contained

Hundreds of crocodiles reported to
have escaped from a breeding centre in Mexico during Hurricane Karl are still contained
in a nature reserve, Mexico’s environment agency has said.

The reptiles were reported to have
swam away after their outdoor enclosure in Veracruz state was flooded.

But officials said only some had
got out of their cages, and they had remained inside a nature reserve.

The crocodiles posed no threat to
the public, they said.

“It seems there are reports
that they are wandering free, that they are walking in the streets, but we have
to say that that is not true,” said Manuel Molina of the Mexican environment
agency, Semarnat.

The escaped animals were contained
in a lake inside the nature reserve surrounding the breeding centre, and could
not get out, he said.

The governor of Veracruz state,
Fidel Herrera, had earlier said more than 280 crocodiles had escaped during the
floods.

Local people had been warned not to
approach or try to catch the animals.

The Morelet’s crocodiles – an
endangered species found in Mexico and Central America – were being bred for
conservation purposes at El Colibri wildlife reserve, 25 miles from the port of
Veracruz.

Tens of thousands of people in
Veracruz state have been left homeless by floods caused by Hurricane Karl, and
at least 12 people have been killed.

The region was already suffering
from one of its worst rainy seasons on record when the hurricane struck.

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