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Crocodile Pool Shut Down
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A crocodile pool where a nine-year-old boy was eaten by the reptiles last week in southern China has been shut down for good.

All 10 remaining crocodiles at the pool in Beihai, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, were yesterday relocated to a zoo in Nanning, the region's capital, China News Service reported.

Visitors to the zoo will be able to see the crocodiles from today, the report said.

The zoo erected more than one-meter-high guardrails around the croc lake to deter people from approaching the reptiles, it said.

A second-grade student surnamed Liu and three other students from Xiantian Primary School climbed over the gate of the park in Beihai to play with the crocodiles after school on Friday.

The children shot at the crocodiles with slingshots and poked them with wooden sticks.

When the boys began searching for crocodile eggs in the grass, one of the animals bit Liu and dragged him into the water.

The other three boys escaped unharmed.

There were 11 crocodiles in the pool at the time. Local police shot one dead on Saturday after receiving approval from the forestry authority to recover evidence. Body parts from the child were later found in the crocodile's stomach.

The park originally kept hundreds of crocodiles for public shows, but the park operator later went into debt and auctioned off most of the reptiles. The owner then hired a custodian to keep watch over the remaining reptiles, but nearby villagers said he was rarely seen.

The park manager and the pool keeper have been held by police.

The mishap touched off widespread outcry for increased safety education to children in China.

(Shanghai Daily April 26, 2007)

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