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Up to 15,000 crocodiles made their bid for freedom when floods washed them into one of southern Africa’s biggest rivers, the Limpopo, in northern South Africa near the Botswana border.

They were being bred at a farm which sells crocodile skin to the fashion industry.

Owners opened the gates, fearing flood water would crush the reptiles. Instead the creatures were able to make their escape.

Many of the crocodiles have been recaptured, but more than half are still on the loose.

One made it as far as a school rugby field 120 kilometres away.

Heavy rains and flooding have claimed at least 20 lives in South Africa and neighbouring Mozambique and led to thousands being evacuated from their homes.

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