Cyprus Mail

Larnaca communities say ‘never’ to crocodile park

Larnaca communities will refuse point blank to even consider the creation of a crocodile park in Psematismenos, they decided at a meeting on Monday night.

The Governing Council of the Union of Communities of Larnaca under the chairmanship of Christodoulos Papachristou, president of the community council of Psematismenos said the decision was unanimous and that they would write to the interior and agriculture ministers indicating their refusal, Larnaca Press said on Tuesday.

An application was submitted recently to the agriculture ministry by a Cypriot-Israeli joint venture sees the importation of around 1,000 Nile crocodiles for a theme park in Psematismenos. The crocodiles are to come from an Israeli farm that was closed down in 2011 after 70 of the crocodiles escaped, causing a panic.

MPs and NGOs have already questioned why the agriculture ministry would even accept an application for such a venture, which would be close to residential areas.

The Larnaca communities said on Monday night that they don’t even know who is behind the venture, only that it involves one Israeli and at least one Cypriot.

Papachristou said that according to the information provided, 1,002 Nile crocodiles would be imported for the theme park and each would need a space from 120 square metres to 150  square metres “which means we need half of Cyprus to put 1,002 crocodiles”, he said.

“And if they lay 27-80 eggs a year, in ten years time, there will be the same number of crocodiles as the population,” he added.

“The Union of Communities of Larnaca cannot accept this project.”

The issue would be discussed at the House environment committee again on Friday, he said.

Papachristou, expressed the belief that the agriculture ministry would ultimately not give their consent, “because we know this project will not bring positive results and growth in the region, but only negativity,” he concluded.


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