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Last Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007, 14:53 GMT
Vietnam hunts escaped crocodiles
A crocodile (file image)
Thousands of crocodiles were housed at the farm
Soldiers and villagers are hunting for hundreds of crocodiles washed away from a farm after floods in central Vietnam.

The reptiles were swept away on Saturday when a flash flood knocked down a fence at a crocodile farm in Khanh Hoa province, officials said.

At least seven of the animals have been shot or recaptured, media reports said, but no-one yet knows how many escaped.

About 5,000 crocodiles lived on the farm. They are reared in Vietnam for their skin and meat.

Forest rangers, soldiers and militiamen have been searching for the creatures since they were washed away from the farm, apparently into a nearby stream.

Woman rows along a flooded street in Hoi An, Vietnam (31/10/2007)
Vietnam has been badly hit by flooding this year

Local official Nguyen Ngoc Hoa told the BBC how people had rushed to the scene in the hope of catching the animals and earning a reward.

"One would be paid 100,000 dong ($6; 3) for one baby crocodile, and 20,000 dong for 1kg [2.2lb] of the grown-up creature," he said.

"People are actively involved in the hunt as the pay-back is far greater than one day of their work payment."

Vietnam has been hit by severe seasonal weather in recent weeks.

A series of storms has brought high winds and heavy rain to the central and northern parts of the country, triggering flooding and landslides.

More than 200 people have been killed since early October and more heavy rainfall is expected, forecasters say.

Dozens dead in Vietnamese floods
07 Nov 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Three die as typhoon hits Vietnam
04 Oct 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Vietnam floods kill more than 40
09 Aug 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Vietnam battens down for typhoon
03 Oct 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Six dead in Vietnam flash floods
06 Aug 07 |  Asia-Pacific


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