PETZAEL, West Bank (AP) — An Israeli businessman appears to have bitten off more than he can chew with plans for a crocodile farm in a West Bank settlement.
Hundreds of crocodiles are stranded at the farm in a remote spot in the Jordan Valley — left behind by a pair of failed business ventures.
The crocodiles were brought to Petzael settlement in the mid-1990s as a tourist attraction. Ensuing Israeli-Palestinian violence kept visitors away, prompting the crocodiles’ purchase by an entrepreneur hoping to sell them for their skin.
But his venture flopped after Israel passed a law in 2012 defining the crocodile as a protected animal. Multiple attempts to sell them abroad have failed. Dozens have escaped, only to be found later.
Israel says it’s working to find a “practical solution” to the conundrum.