SHANTOU, China (UPI):   A Chinese farm said an undetermined number of crocodiles are on the loose after dozens of the reptiles were set free by floodwaters. Officials with the slaughter farm operated by the Shantou Xiesheng Breeding Co. said rains Saturday caused flooding that allowed dozens of crocodiles to escape the farm, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported Friday.

The farm said 27 crocodiles had been recaptured as of Thursday, but an unknown number remain on the loose and may have spread to nearby rivers and flooded farms. “Runaway crocodiles are very dangerous. We are very nervous that they may hurt people,” said Zhou Minghui, general manager of Shantou Xiesheng Breeding Co. The farm keeps about 11,000 crocodiles at a time to slaughter for meat products.