Crocodile 'bravely' tamed by police and RSPCA turns out to be inflatable toy

Police and wildlife experts were called to a garden in Plymouth to find a toy crocodile.

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The Independent Online

Police and wildlife experts were called to a garden in Plymouth after reports of a crocodile sighting, however, when they arrived it was discovered the crocodile was an inflatable toy.

A woman in Plymouth was horrified when she spotted a 3ft (1m) green reptile outside her kitchen window, the Press Association reported.

She said: "It was pouring with rain and I saw what I thought was a crocodile in the garden. I went to my neighbour's house to ask if they would come and have a look at it.”

"They did think it was a baby crocodile and suggested calling the RSPCA or the police but we decided to call the police as I have a three-year-old and was worried” said the woman who did not wish to be named.

The police also notified Dartmoor Zoo and the RSPCA, and experts had set off armed with snare poles, nets and shields.

The homeowner continued: "A policeman and a policewoman arrived and at that point we were all a bit suspicious because it hadn't moved. One of the police officers bravely went out to have a look. They threw water on it and it didn't move. I'm absolutely mortified."

Devon and Cornwall police confirmed they had responded to the incident which took place yesterday. A spokesman said: “The caller was concerned for her child and the RSPCA and Dartmoor Zoo were informed and on their way.”

"Police officers attended and bravely investigated. The beast turned out to be an inflatable toy crocodile. Police have apprehended the crocodile."

A spokesperson for Dartmouth Zoo said that their team was halfway there when they received a call from the police saying that it was a toy. They said they get called out to re-capture escaped snakes and lizards frequently.

"Our team have a variety of equipment to deal with such situations, including snare poles, nets on poles and riot shields. We also have dart guns but did not bring them on this occasion,” they said.

Additional reporting by the Press Association.