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 Post subject: Crocs dying in Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:16 am 
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Did you see the news of the crocodiles dying in Kruger?

This is from 'iafrica.com'

Kruger Park crocs dying
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Wed, 04 Jun 2008 13:28

Ecologists at the Kruger National Park are puzzled over the recent spate of crocodile deaths, the park's management said on Wednesday.

Veterinary surgeons, scientists, researchers, rangers and managers met in Skukuza in the Kruger National Park on Tuesday to discuss the discovery of at least 30 crocodile carcasses in the Olifants River area last Thursday.

"We don't have the answers as to why these crocodiles are dying," said the Kruger National Park's Head of Department for Scientific Services, Danie Pienaar.

A carcass was first spotted by trail rangers. It had distinctive yellow-orange hardened fat in its tail.

During an aerial survey over the entire length of the Olifants River, 30 crocodile carcasses were discovered in various stages of decomposition, he said.

Tissue samples of the yellow-orange hardened fat were taken and sent by the Kruger National park to the University of Pretoria's Onderstepoort for further analysis.

Pienaar said: "It is believed at this stage that the yellow-orange fat is a condition known as Pansteatitis which is usually associated with the consumption of rotten or rancid fish.

"We are not sure, what caused this condition in the Olifants Gorge as there were no recent fish kills reported," he said.

The problem was being investigated and nothing had been ruled out as its cause.

"Although a clear cause/effect relationship cannot be found, it is clear that the Olifants River system is strained beyond it capacity to deal with this level of stress."

Pienaar said the Olifants River was the most polluted river in the park and the system had experienced further strain from the Massingir Dam that has pushed back into the Olifants Gorge, causing sediments to be deposited.

Sapa


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:45 am 
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You can also read about it here from the home page.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:50 am 
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I read it......and I think pollution of river in the KNP becomes a bigger issue every year..

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:24 pm 
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Hi there

Not sure why so here is the story:

Kruger Park crocs dying
Article By: Wed, 04 Jun 2008 13:28
Ecologists at the Kruger National Park are puzzled over the recent spate of crocodile deaths, the park's management said on Wednesday.

Veterinary surgeons, scientists, researchers, rangers and managers met in Skukuza in the Kruger National Park on Tuesday to discuss the discovery of at least 30 crocodile carcasses in the Olifants River area last Thursday.

"We don't have the answers as to why these crocodiles are dying," said the Kruger National Park's Head of Department for Scientific Services, Danie Pienaar.

A carcass was first spotted by trail rangers. It had distinctive yellow-orange hardened fat in its tail.

During an aerial survey over the entire length of the Olifants River, 30 crocodile carcasses were discovered in various stages of decomposition, he said.

Tissue samples of the yellow-orange hardened fat were taken and sent by the Kruger National park to the University of Pretoria's Onderstepoort for further analysis.

Pienaar said: "It is believed at this stage that the yellow-orange fat is a condition known as Pansteatitis which is usually associated with the consumption of rotten or rancid fish.

"We are not sure, what caused this condition in the Olifants Gorge as there were no recent fish kills reported," he said.

The problem was being investigated and nothing had been ruled out as its cause.

"Although a clear cause/effect relationship cannot be found, it is clear that the Olifants River system is strained beyond it capacity to deal with this level of stress."

Pienaar said the Olifants River was the most polluted river in the park and the system had experienced further strain from the Massingir Dam that has pushed back into the Olifants Gorge, causing sediments to be deposited.

Sapa


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 Post subject: Crocodiles dying in Kruger National Park
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:30 pm 
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:cry: Yes, this is bad. When one of our most hardened animals, that can carry on when even losing a limb, start dying, then there is big problems... What about the rest of the animals drinking out of the olifants river? Can this not spread to them as well? I just hope they get an answer very soon, and do something about the people/companies/mines that keep on poluting our rivers :evil: that is suppose to give life to so many beings....

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 Post subject: Pansteatitis?
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:40 pm 
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What is Pansteatitis?
It is the hardening of the fat which is usually associated with the consumption of rotten or rancid fish. More than 30 crocodile carcasses have been found in the Olifants River at the Kruger National Park. The first carcass spotted by trail rangers, had distinctive yellow-orange hardened fat in its tail. The problem is being investigated to determine the cause.

Did any of you hear about this on the John Robbie show on 702 yesterday?? :shock:

Any thoughts?

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 Post subject: Is this it
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:24 am 
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The pic below was taken on the bridge, crossing the Sabie River, on the H12 on 19 May 2008.
It has some rather strange colours and I wonder if it is one of the crocs with the desease

Image


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:05 am 
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Ngwenya, I hope not. :( From what I've read, all the crocs with the problem were in the Olifants, and one of the angles that the scientists are pursuing is that there is some problem with the river system.

lee lewis, I'm sure that Kruger will issue more press releases when the investigations reveal further clues.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:52 pm 
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Of course it is a problem with the river system.

Pollution, over utilization of water, dams further upstream and downstream, farming fertilizers etc etc etc.

When I was moaning and groaning about yet another big dam on one of the Olifants tributaries in this old Thread people said why worry, its all good !

Recent studies have shown the reduction in fish eagles breding along the river, reduction of fishing owls , stork species that used to be found there in there hundreds no longer appearing !
Now we have the crocs dying, who's main food source is fish .

If all these species who's main food source is fish are dying/reducing in numbers etc etc, then we have a huge problem as fish are the very first indicator of a problem in any aquatic system.

They will probably find there is some sort of cyanide or other mining related chemical that is causing poisoning that fish are dying from, the crocs will scavenge and eat those dead fish and become infected/poisoned.

Oh well, our good minister of environment will just carry on and sign up to allow industries etc to carry on and do as they wish, developing dams, dumping whatever and so on......


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:55 am 
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joekin wrote:
Thanks Tigger83

Speaking about the pollution and crocs in the rivers in KNP, does the water get "filtered" before entering the park from(having seen the jukskie flood) packets tyres bottles etc.

And for example are there "breaks" in the rivers to prevent the crocodile river crocs from getting to hartebeespoort(i know there is a damwall).

always just wondered


The water does not get filtered as far as I know, but by the time the water reaches Kruger from the polluted cities most of the pollution would've ended up hooked or sunken along the line.

As for crocs in the Harties dam. Apart from the odd croc found in the Gauteng area over recent years it is just too cold for them here to survive during the winter months and thus turns out to be no suitable habitat for them.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:59 am 
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Have a look at this. I have been loading pictures from my last Kruger trip and this was taken on the Olifants river.

Image

I never noticed the croc in the background when I took the picture. A photo of one of the dead crocs in the Sunday newspapers showed it to be this whitish colour.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:15 pm 
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Just read this in the Mail and Guardian online of July 1, 2008.
Quote:
Mining has been blamed for the death of more than 50 crocodiles along the Olifants River in Kruger National Park in the past month.

Autopsies will be performed to reveal the cause of death. The crocodiles may have died from a form of poisoning that hardens their body fat, gradually immobilising them until they starve to death.

The expansion of mining in the area, compounded by the withdrawal of water by a dam in Mozambique, is seen is a possible cause.

"In the past year we've seen the effects of unwarranted ground­water extraction by mining companies and pollution from various sources, especially mining," said Marina Caird of the Wildlife and Environment

"Groundwater helps rivers flow and some rivers have literally stopped flowing. Last year the Olifants River, which has always been perennial, also stopped running. Mine work extracts six megalitres of water a day, enough to supply 250 000 households."

Caird said 18 companies mine platinum in the water catchment areas feeding Kruger's rivers.

Danie Pienaar, Kruger's head of scientific services, said that the gorge where most of the dead crocodiles were found is being tested for heavy metal pollution.

Dissection of the animals has revealed hardened, orange fat, which is usually a sign of pansteatitis, a poisoning associated with eating rotten fish.

However, there has been no reported "die-off" of fish in the affected area.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:55 pm 
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Whow that is very sad news. :cry: They will definitely not close down any mines for crocodiles or Kruger. I am very afraid of the future... :?


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:10 pm 
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Wildheart,
Maybe it is not that bad.
There are suppose to be measures in place to prevent pollution.
Effluent water from industry is suppose to be sampled and tested on a regular basis to control and monitor what is being pumped into rivers and into the environment.
What I find strange is that these crocs are some distance away from mining activities.
The crocs closer to mining activities seem to be fine?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:31 pm 
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I have just gone to look at my copy of "The Mail and Guardian". There is a photo of someone from the department taking samples from a dead croc. I'm afraid to say that it looks pretty much like the croc behind my hippo. :(

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