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Gaza’s New Enemy: An Escaped Crocodile

A crocodile, apparently an escapee from a zoo, has been roaming in northern Gaza’s sewers for two years, escaping attempts to capture it.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/5/2012, 12:53 PM

Crocodile in the zoo in Khan Younis in southern Gaza
Crocodile in the zoo in Khan Younis in southern Gaza
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A crocodile, apparently an escapee from a zoo, has been roaming in northern Gaza’s sewers for two years, escaping attempts to capture it, the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news outlet reported.

“The crocodile most likely escaped from one of the nearby zoos and sought refuge in the sewers,” Rajab al-Ankah, head of the Northern Gaza Sewage Station, told Al Arabiya. Crocodiles and other animals often are smuggled into Gaza from Egypt.

The creature’s length is estimated at 1.7 meters and has used slippery ground to foil experts trying to catch it with nets. The crocodile apparently searched the sewers for food.

According to local residents, the crocodile comes out of the sewage basins to look for food then disappears quickly for fear of being captured.

“It came as a baby and now it is huge and the more it grows the more dangerous it becomes for the residents of the area and their livestock,” according to Ankah.

One farmer has reported that the reptile ate two of his goats that were grazing near the sewage basins, and residents fear that humans could be part of the crocodile’s diet.

Hamas-controlled Gaza usually blames Israel for all of its woes, but no one has yet clamed that Israel is the source of the crocodile.