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: Mozambique firm to export 100,000 crocodiles



From: Charles Mangwiro, Reuters
Published October 11, 2007 01:07 PM

Mozambique firm to export 100,000 crocodiles


MAPUTO (Reuters) - A Mozambican company plans to breed and sell more than 100,000 crocodiles to South Africa and Zimbabwe to create an export market for the poor southern African nation.

The crocodiles will come from Mozambique's remote northern Tete province, where their numbers have increased in recent years, Antonio Viera, an official with fishing company Cahora Kapenta, told Reuters on Thursday.

"It's a new and unique business segment which we hope would boost the economy of Mozambique and also help the government to solve one of its major problems related to human-animal conflict in this province," Viera said.

Tete accounts for most of the fatal crocodile attacks on humans in Mozambique, which has recorded 30 such deaths this year. The reptiles also destroy large amounts of arable land and crops in their search for food.

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The crocodiles that are exported to South Africa and Zimbabwe could end up being killed for their skins, which are used to make shoes, boots, belts and jackets. There is a growing market in Europe for such products.

Viera said his company had started organizing the logistics to collect crocodile eggs for the breeding program.

"Breeding is already under way and we hope that the first exports will start in January 2008," Viera added.

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