Crocodile theft a headache for Malindi farmers

Crocodiles at Mombasa’s Mamba Village. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Crocodiles at Mombasa’s Mamba Village. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Police have arrested two people suspected to have stolen three-year-old crocodiles at a Malindi farm in Kilifi County amid rising theft on the reptiles farms.

Malindi police boss Matawa Muchangi said the suspects, aged about 32 years, were arrested while trying to sneak the beasts from Mark Stephen’s farm.

“The suspects had concealed three crocodiles in sacks but the third crocodile had died due to suffocation,” he added.

Mr Muchangi said the farmer alerted police when he heard movements in his backyard. This comes amid increased demand for crocodiles in China and rising sales locally to restaurants and tourist hotels.

A crocodile can fetch about Sh10,000 and hides go for Sh2,500 and they used for making shoes, handbags and belts.

In September, there were 21 crocodile farmers in Kenya, but a further 60 had applied for licencing, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Meanwhile, police are investigating a case where a ship from Comoros carrying nine sailors was found in the Indian Ocean after reports that it was missing for three days.