There's been a creepy trend developing over the past year or so involving wild crocodiles and alligators showing up unannounced in public places... from the sighting of a croc in England's River Avon, to the Florida retiree who unofficially adopted one as a pet (at great risk to life and limb). Even fake crocs have been terrifying shoppers at the mall lately.
But today's reptilian mall “guest” is no publicity stunt – it's a very real Nile crocodile that suddenly showed up near a TJ Maxx store in the California suburb of Roseville (near Sacramento) on Wednesday.
Photo: Roseville Police
According to NBC Los Angeles, the four-foot reptile may have been en route to the nearby Serpentarium nature sanctuary when the person transporting it either got spooked or lost control of it. It was found close to a large plastic crate, and authorities theorize that the croc was being transported in the container when the duct-taped lid popped open. Tape was also wrapped around the creature's snout.
Animal Control Officer John Bennett was able to corral the beast, which he says put up quite a fight before being secured in a cage. "A lot of people were relieved when they saw the duct tape on its mouth," he added.
The crocodile is currently in custody of wildlife officials, awaiting a new home.