Human Interest

Police search for 250 kg crocodile in central Spain

Valladolid, Spain, Jun 7 (efe-epa).- Police are looking for a crocodile weighing 250 kilograms which was sighted two days ago in the Douro River in central Spain.

The reptile is thought to be a Nile crocodile measuring a meter and a half in length and was spotted over the weekend by several people, police sources told Efe.

A biologist later identified several tracks on the riverbank of the Douro, in Valladolid in central Spain, and said they could belong to a crocodile aged between four and six years.

The police think the animal may have been abandoned by its owner who was keeping it as a pet but released it once it got too big.

Fernando Gómez, head of the Forest Tracking Service of the Chelonia Association, told reporters that the evidence pointed to the fact the crocodile was not a large specimen.

The expert carried out a reconnaissance of the area on Monday in the Pesqueruela area where the Duero and Pisuerga rivers meet with members of the Nature Protection Service and the Civil Guards Group of Underwater Activities.

When asked whether he thought it was a Nile crocodile, as suggested by the biologist, Gómez said conditions were not ideal for it in this area although there was no way of knowing how long the reptile had been roaming the region.

Crocodiles are adaptive, have been on the earth for millions of years, can go without eating for days, are elusive, can move quickly and hide underwater, the expert said.

Frederic Casals, from the University of Lleida, told Efe that the crocodile could have come from a nearby house and “that it is unlikely” to attack humans unless it feels cornered.

Casals, an animal sciences expert and coordinator of the Life Invasqua project, said these animals “are usually very fearful -especially the younger specimens – and the danger of an attack is small”.

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