A Roseville animal control officer was confronted with an unusual stray Wednesday morning when a 4-foot crocodile was found wandering around a Douglas Boulevard shopping center.
Police said someone abandoned the crocodile in a container outside a reptile business in the TJ Maxx Plaza with a note identifying it as a Nile crocodile and requesting that someone “call rescue.” But the crocodile got out of the container and went for a walk around the plaza, resulting in calls to police.
Animal Control Officer John Bennett lassoed the animal, which wasn’t happy about being caged.
Authorities said the crocodile was feisty but had duct tape wrapped around its jaws. They also said the animal appeared to have broken teeth, possibly from biting wire cages.
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Police said it was turned over to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. If it is a Nile crocodile, officials said it could grow to a length of 20 feet and they noted that it is illegal to owno.
Police said Fish and Wildlife officials will place the crocodile with an educational organization.