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China’s growing demand brings booming crocodile farming in Kenya

If you are working in an enclosure full of crocodiles, don't turn your back on them to answer your mobile phone.

如果你在一个到处都是鳄鱼的院子里工作的话,记住,千万不要转过身背对鳄鱼打手机!

Sadly that is what one member of staff did in May at Collins Mueke's crocodile farm in eastern Kenya.

悲哀的是,今年五月,在肯尼亚东部地区的克林斯•穆克(Collins Mueke)鳄鱼养殖场内,一名工作人员恰恰作了这样的蠢事。

"He was talking on his phone not aware of his surroundings," says Mr Mueke, 62. "He died while getting treatment in hospital.

今年62岁的穆克先生说,“他在接电话,根本没有意识到周围的环境。后来送去医院,不治,死了。”

"Another worker lost his index finger while handling a young crocodile just a few weeks old. It can be a scary place here, but you have to move on and earn a living."

“还有一名工人,料理一条有几个星期大的小鳄鱼时丢了食指。这里真可能是个很恐怖的地方,但是没办法,还要接着活,还要挣钱啊。”

Welcome to the lucrative, but dangerous, world of crocodile farming.

这就是利润丰厚、险象丛生的鳄鱼养殖业!

If you are of a nervous disposition, you probably wouldn't consider farming Nile crocodiles. 

如果你生性胆小、爱紧张,也许就不应该考虑选择养殖尼罗鳄为生。

The largest species of African crocodile, it is one of the world's most deadly predators. Growing to five metres (16ft) in length, and typically weighing as much as 750kg (118st), it is renowned for its aggressive nature.

尼罗鳄是非洲鳄鱼中最大的一种,也是世界上最致命的猎手!尼罗鳄身长可达5米,体重通常达到750公斤,以凶猛、攻击性强著称。

In the wild attacks on humans are commonplace. While exact figures are not available due to incidents going unreported, the Nile crocodile is said to kill hundreds of people in Africa every year.

在野外,尼罗鳄伤人的事常有发生。并不是所有的案例都有备案,因此具体数字不详,但是据说尼罗鳄在非洲每年都造成数百人丧生。

Mr Mueke has more than 33,000 of the crocodiles at his 300-acre facility in Kitui County, some 180km (112 miles) east of the capital Nairobi.

穆克的鳄鱼养殖场位于基图伊郡(Kitui County),距离首都内罗毕以东大约180公里,他一共饲养33000多条鳄鱼。

Led by demand for crocodile meat from China, but also rising domestic sales to the restaurants of upmarket tourist hotels, he says that business has never been better.

在中国市场对鳄鱼肉需求的推动之下,同时,伴随着肯尼亚国内提供给餐馆、高档游客酒店的鳄鱼肉销量日渐增加,穆克说,他的生意前所未有的红火。

"Each crocodile… can fetch you about 5,000 to 7,000 Kenyan shillings for the meat (£30 to £53; $50 to $69)," says Mr Mueke.

穆克说,“每条鳄鱼……肉可以赚到大约5000到7000肯尼亚先令(30到53英镑)。”

The meat is white in colour, and said to taste similar to chicken. Mr. Mueke adds that in addition he can sell the hides of the animals for 2,500 Kenyan shillings, which go on to become shoes, handbags and belts.

鳄鱼肉呈白色,据说味道很像鸡肉。穆克说,他还可以卖鳄鱼皮,用来做鞋、手包、皮带,每张可以卖到2500肯尼亚先令。

The financial result of all this, Mr Mueke says, is that he can double his money for each of the 3,000 crocodiles he slaughters every year. "Crocodile farming has its challenges, but the most surprising result is the profits. You can make more than 100%," he says.

穆克说,结果是,每年他宰杀3000条鳄鱼,每条鳄鱼的收入相当于投入的一倍。“养鳄鱼确实有挑战,但是,最令人吃惊的结果是利润!可以赚到超过100%。”

Mr Mueke's crocodiles live in sunken enclosures that contain both ponds and dry land. They are fed with fish, blood-soaked maize, and other meats.

穆克的鳄鱼养在深深的大坑内,坑内既有池塘,也有旱地。鳄鱼的饲料包括鱼、浸了血的玉米和其他肉类。

The enclosures have steep walls to prevent the crocodiles from escaping, but the farm's 246 workers have to climb down into them on a daily basis. This is so they can trap and kill crocodiles that have reached the ideal age for eating – eight years old.

大坑的墙很陡,防止鳄鱼逃跑。但是,鳄鱼场内的246名工人每天需要爬墙下去进入坑内,捕捉那些肉质刚好、适龄宰杀的鳄鱼,也就是8岁的鳄鱼。

Staff also have to collect eggs so that baby crocodiles can be hatched and reared in separate enclosures, and do general cleaning work.

工人还需要采集鳄鱼蛋,以便在单独的地方孵化小鳄鱼,同时,还需要打扫卫生。

Veterinarian Odhiambo Ojamong says cleanliness is vital to help prevent diseases. "You have to observe the crocodiles daily for diseases and even injury," he says. "An injury to a crocodile through infighting among the populations can cause serious fatal diseases and instant death.

兽医欧贾蒙(Odhiambo Ojamong)说,卫生对防止疾病传播非常重要。“必须每天检查鳄鱼有没有生病、受伤的迹象。内斗受伤可能引起致命性疾病、或者导致鳄鱼立刻丧命。

"But the biggest disease a farmer must avoid among crocodiles is crocodile pox. It has no vaccine, and can wipe out the whole stock. "So the best thing to do about this is always observe good hygiene." 

不过,养殖场必须下大力气避免的最严重的疾病是鳄鱼痘。没有预防鳄鱼痘的疫苗,流行起来可能让所有的鳄鱼都丧命。所以,最好的方法永远都是保持良好的卫生。”

The crocodile farming sector is now growing at 22% per year across Africa, according to industry estimates. South Africa leads the pack, with total exports valued at about $73m (£56m) per year. It is followed by Zambia ($65m), Kenya ($62m), and Zimbabwe ($30m).

业界估计,整个非洲鳄鱼养殖业目前年增长幅度为22%。其中,南非是领军人,每年鳄鱼出口总值大约为7300万美元(5600万英镑),其次是赞比亚(6500万美元),肯尼亚(6200万美元)和津巴布韦(3000万美元)。

Almost 85% of exports go to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan combined. The next biggest export market is the wider Middle East region.

中国、香港和台湾加在一起占据非洲鳄鱼出口市场份额的85%。接下来另外一个较大的出口市场是中东地区。

In Kenya there are now 21 crocodile farmers, but a further 60 have applied for the required licences, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), a government agency.

肯尼亚野生动物署(KWS)透露,肯尼亚现在共有21家鳄鱼养殖场,但是另外还有60家已经申办经营执照。

Paul Gathitu, spokesman for the KWS, says it has no problem with the farming of Nile crocodiles because the animals are not endangered.

野生动物署发言人加西图(Paul Gathitu)说,养殖尼罗鳄不是问题,因为这并不是濒危动物。

Yet Mr Ojamong cautions that the start-up costs are onerous. He estimates that to set up a crocodile farm in Kenya you would need about $500,000 to cover everything from land purchases, consultancy fees for experts in the field, and securing your crocodile breeding stock.

但是,欧贾蒙提醒说,启动成本很高。他估计,在肯尼亚开办一家鳄鱼养殖场,需要投入大约50万美元,用于购买土地、鳄鱼苗、专家咨询等。

Mr Mueke, who established his farm more than a decade ago, adds: "There are a lot of expensive infrastructure requirements… but the returns you get will make you not regret [the initial outlay]."

穆克是在10年前开办养殖场的。他说,“有许多昂贵的基础设施投入,但是,带来的回报是一定不会让你后悔的。”

Source: BBC

2016-09-19

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