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Crocodile park back in the news

The proposed crocodile park at Achna was back in the news this week as the MPs in the House Environment Committee discussed health risks to humans and environmental issues.

Proposed crocodile park in Cyprus A CROCODILE park at Achna would need about 80 tonnes of water a day and could pose a health risk to humans, MPs in the House Environment Committee heard on Wednesday.

Maria Koliou, Head of the Infectious Disease Surveillance Unit of the Ministry of Health, warned MPs that the crocodiles could be infected with the West Nile virus that could be spread to humans through mosquitoes.

Ms Koliou said that people over 50 with existing health problems had an increased risk of being infected and developing encephalitis adding that Cyprus had only one incident of the West Nile virus to date and was considered a safe destination for tourists.

(People infected with the West Nile virus can also develop meningitis.)

A professor of microbiology explained that tests may not identify infected crocodiles when they arrived but they could go on to develop the disease. He said that if an infected animal entered Cyprus it would be like opening Pandora’s Box.

Farming organisations opposed the crocodile park due to the large amount of water it would need when their members were facing water rationing.

The committee also heard that Achna dam was a special protection area as it was one of a few breeding sites for two priority bird species.

Last week the 500 local residents attended a community meeting in Achna had mixed views on the crocodile park.

Israeli crocodile connection

Three years ago Arutz Sheva, an Israeli newspaper reported that the Jordan Valley was in Danger of a Crocodile Invasion.

David Elhayani, the chair of the Jordon Valley Regional Council, explained that initially the crocodile farm, which was established in the 1990’s next to the town of Petzael, served as a tourist highlight with thousands of people arriving to see the attraction and to take pictures with the little crocodiles.

Over the years the farm was closed to tourism and the owners of the farm raised crocodiles for their skin. But since Israel passed a law classifying crocodiles as a protected species, it is forbidden to harm them.

Elhayani said  that an urgent solution needs to be found for the Petzael crocodile farm, before the region finds itself under a crocodile invasion.

“We demand that the state evacuate the group of crocodiles from here, before it’s too late,” warned Elhayani. “Just imagine what will happen if a crocodile escapes into the Jordan (River). It’s possible to evacuate them to Cyprus and find a solution for them there.

Readers' comments

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  • shirley spratley says:

    This is madness, just see the animal abuse on this tiny island, and the current illegal zoos where many creatures suffer and die as they are not looked after properly, and the authorities do NOTHING to stop this abuse. This is a huge mistake to even consider this.

    Like the stupid proposals to build on Akamas MONEY is the only motivation, not the good of the islands future.

  • Deanna says:

    Read the ‘Israeli connection’ in the final piece. Raised for skins. That is what makes some eyes gleam…

    For this, and all the other reasons already given, this has to be the NO-NO of the year.

  • Ron Richardson says:

    If there are no benefits to be gained by having crocodiles then why take the risks. As I can only see risks.

  • Robert Briggs says:

    This Crocodile park nonsense should not even be up for discussion with this Government Committee & the local (ie; Achna) officials, et al, who are spinning this out in order to justify their bloated salaries and perks.

    No way in any circumstances does Cyprus need a Crocodile Park or Farm or the like, end of story.

    PS regarding these Officials & the like, please note an article by the Cyprus Mail on Saturday 5/5/2018,”Local Government is wasting taxpayers cash,” In particular the comments by Mr John Mavro, which are awesome and stating a # of home truths.

    You will find it interesting reading.

    Ed: As I explained to your previous comment the local community are not paying for the crocodile park, the investors (TSA Crocopark) are funding the project. The Achna Community are hopeful of getting revenue from visitors to the park.

  • The views expressed in readers' comments are not necessarily shared by the Cyprus Property News.


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