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Escaped croc found near Caesarea

Reptile, believed to have got away from nearby farm, located by police and taken back into captivity

An escaped crocodile found near the northern Israeli community of Beit Hanania on May 9, 2015. (screen capture: YouTube)
An escaped crocodile found near the northern Israeli community of Beit Hanania on May 9, 2015. (screen capture: YouTube)

An escaped crocodile found wandering in northern Israel on Saturday was captured by police after leading authorities on a short chase.

The crocodile was spotted on the loose by a resident in Beit Hanania, a community located northeast of the coastal city of Caesarea.

Following the sighting, the individual immediately called the 100 emergency hotline. Police converged on the scene, located the croc, and monitored until experts arrived to take it back into captivity.

There were no injuries in the incident.

“This morning we received an unconventional call that a crocodile was roaming freely near the community of Beit Hanania, not far from the area police station located in Zichron Yaakov. Police arrived in the area and properly tracked the crocodile’s movements until professionals could arrive and handle the animal appropriately,” the police said.

The aquatic reptile, which is not native to Israel, is believed to have escaped from a nearby crocodile farm.

According to Israel Radio, authorities detained the owner of the farm for questioning and were investigating whether negligence played a role into the crocodile’s escape.

The incident is one of a host of bizarre animal outings reported in the news this year: on January 1, three rhinoceroses escaped from a zoo in Ramat Gan, briefly making their way on to the city’s streets. Three days later, an emu was found running down a highway in the central city of Herzliya and was later captured by authorities.

Both episodes ended without incident.

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