Minister urges crackdown on illegal crocodile exhibitions

State Minister for Environment Affairs Maged George has called for robust efforts to combat the illegal trade of Nile crocodiles in Egypt.

The species faces the threat of extinction.

A new phenomenon, dubbed “crocodile tourism,” where the animals are exhibited at hotels and bazaars in violation of international agreements that ban the practice, is on the rise in Egypt recently.

Previous efforts by the ministry, working in conjunction with the Water Surface Police, detected a number of violations in Luxor, including illegal possession and exhibition.

The ministry said that public prosecution will reprimand violators and the crocodiles will be released in Lake Nasser–their original habitat–in accordance with environmental laws.

Fawzi Abdel Halim, chairman of the Society of Writers for Environment and Development, said the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) bans crocodiles hunting. He added that the crocodile population in Lake Nasser exceeds 5000. The crocodiles consume roughly 9000 tons of fish in the area annually, according to Halim.

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