Planet China

Crocodile tears

It’s not often you hear about crocodiles getting rescued. Mostly they do the killing, after all. But news emerged this week that police had “saved” 3,600 smuggled crocs destined for the wok in Guangdong province. Xinhua reports that the 1.7 metre long creatures weighed a combined 16 tonnes and were intercepted in a border region close to Vietnam. People in southern China think that Siamese crocodiles have special nutritional benefits. Less so in the case of another strange-but-true news item involving another potentially deadly river creature – the piranha. Apparently, a man from Liuzhou has been attacked by three piranha fish. The vicious fish are not native to China and are more usually found in the Amazon. But a professor at Dalian Ocean University told the China Daily that they probably arrived in China as “ornamental fish”. How they got into the river remains a mystery and it is forbidden to import piranhas into China.


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