Perhaps only in Andalusia, traditionally Spain's most laid-back region, could keeping alligators as pets ever have been legal – and even there, since 2008, there has been a ban. But after a two-metre, 70kg 'gator was discovered living at a lake near Mijas on Andalusia's Costa del Sol last month, in any case no one in the region needs reminding of the former regulation.
For now, "Costa Croc", as the alligator has been nicknamed by local British tourists flooding the region for the Easter holidays, has only been spotted twice and it is most likely hibernating. Tracks left by the animal, though, indicate it is between 12 and 18-years old and in weak physical condition.
Alligators can go for months without food and it is unlikely to become active until May, when local temperatures rise above 23C. Meanwhile, a lookout tower has been installed near the lake and four large signs reading, "Grave danger! Crocodile on the loose", have been put up to try to keep the public away. Unfortunately, the signs have tended to have the opposite effect, with tourists lining up to have their photos taken next to them.
As for why Costa Croc has been let loose, experts have suggested it's due to a lack of space or regulations insisting the animals be handed in. But the recession may also be to blame.
Since 2008, tens of thousands of pets have been abandoned on Spain's roadsides by their newly impoverished owners. And when it comes to having an animal round the house, keeping a crocodile in your fish pond is probably not the cheapest option. Nor, for that matter, the cuddliest.
- 1 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...