FOR an entire week a terrible stench hung over Luvuvhu River in Malavuwe, in Thohoyandou in Limpopo.

Farmers who live near the river had no idea where the smell was coming from.

But on Monday a huge crocodile’s decomposing carcass was found floating in the river.

Five crocodiles in total were found dead in the river, in what residents believe is the result of poisoning.

Munzhedzi Thanyani (62), a small-scale farmer in Tshitombondo next to where the last dead crocodile was found, said she used to drink water from the river.

But she has stopped.

“We’re still in shock. We’ve never experienced this before but are happy no one has been hurt as a result of these incidents,” she said.

Ailwei Nemadzhilili of the Malavuwe Royal Council told the People’s Paper: “So far we have discovered five dead crocodiles, but our main concern is determining these reptiles’ cause of death.

“We’ve spoken to conservation officials, who did tests on some of them and told us that they suspected poisoning.

“We’ve asked residents to come up with information about these incidents.

“We’re also sending out a warning to the people not to swim in waters that are infested by reptiles.”