Fri Oct 21 23:57:30 SAST 2016

Safety concerns as crocs are spotted along Dusi race route

By Khulekani Mazibuko | Jan 19, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

WITH only three days left before the much-awaited Dusi Canoe Marathon, two crocodiles spotted in the last 2km of the race route in Durban remain elusive.

Last month, the first 2-metre reptile was spotted by a paddler.

KwaZulu-Natal Wild Life spokesperson Jeff Gaisford confirmed there had been a report of a second crocodile, which might be a metre bigger than the first one.

Gaisford said the crocodiles were being spotted in the area where the water was shallow.

He said paddlers and the public should not worry that the crocs had still not been captured as they had an emergency method of capturing them.

"We have placed four traps where the crocs have been spotted, and in the last 2km of the race people will be making noise, which will scare the crocs away," Gaisford said.

Dusi spokesperson Ray Devries said the teams set up to monitor the race route had done well.

He said none of the crocodiles spotted in the Umgeni River had been caught yet, but one had been captured on video, which had been posted on the race's website.

The croc has been spotted along the river at different sites ranging from Reservoir Hills in the north to Blue Lagoon on the river mouth.

"The teams have worked 24/7 in making sure everything is ready for the marathon," Devries said. "The water quality, which was a concern, is now good and we are not expecting any stormy rain which might dirty the water."

Duzi-Umgeni Conservationist Andrew Booth said the commitment from the Msunduzi municipality and the lack of rain had made certain that the water was of good quality.

"We have not had any hard rain recently, and the results from the tests done this morning have proved that the water is in good condition for paddlers," he said.

The race takes place from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday and ends at the Umgeni River mouth on Saturday.

The race has so far attracted 16000 entries compared to last year's 14000.


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