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Learning English - Words in the News
14 November, 2007 - Published 10:30 GMT
Crocodiles escape in Vietnam
A crocodile

Severe floods in parts of Vietnam have killed several hundred people and caused widespread damage. But now there is a new problem to contend with, after hundreds of crocodiles escaped from a farm when the floods destroyed their cages. This report from Steve Jackson:

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The state owned Yang Bay farm in central Vietnam was home to around five-thousand crocodiles, until flash floods destroyed their cages at the weekend. The authorities don't know exactly how many of the reptiles escaped but they believe several hundred are on the loose.

Soldiers, forest rangers and villagers have been trying to track them down. Only eight crocodiles have been recaptured so far and three more shot dead. The first to be killed weighed two-hundred kilograms and took eight people to carry it away. Many of the escaped crocodiles are thought to have taken up residence in a nearby lake, and officials have warned people to be extremely careful and not to go swimming.

Crocodiles are farmed in Vietnam for meat and their skin which is still used to make handbags. The manager of the farm says he fears some local people will try to catch them so they can sell the leather. The floods - caused by a series of typhoons - have caused widespread damage in northern and central Vietnam, killing around two-hundred people since the start of October.

Steve Jackson, BBC

Listen to the words

flash floods
sudden heavy rain and rising water

got away, fled

on the loose

forest rangers
people who look after parks and natural areas

to track them down
to find them

put back into cages

taken up residence
started living

bred, raised (here)

dried animal skin

widespread damage
great destruction

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