While crocodiles are a common sight in the nearby Nile River, crocodiles in Gaza are seen only in zoos. But for the past two years, a crocodile that likely escaped from a zoo has posted up in the sewers of the Gaza Strip between Israel and Egypt. It comes out only to eat, feeding on locals’ goats, ducks and chickens; leading people to live in fear knowing that humans may be next.
Head of the Northern Gaza Sewage Station in Beit Lahia, Rajab al-Ankah told Al Arabiya news that the five-and-a-half foot crocodile has managed to avoid capture for more than two years. “The nets were set up to capture the crocodile, but it managed to escape,” he said. “The slippery ground in the area around the swamps near Beit Lahia in northern Gaza made the escape easier and the crocodile disappeared once more.”
The crocodile was finally captured this week by police who actually had no experience in capturing crocodiles. They had to use tips they found on Google to do so. Shark nets were set up in the sewage pond where the crocodile lived and authorities spent two weeks floating in the pond to catch the animal. Lieutenant Colonel Samih al-Sultan led the hunt.
“He had a lot of spirit in him. He wanted to be free,” Colonel al-Sultan told Britain’s Sky News. The crocodile was then moved into its new home with four other crocodiles in a new zoo near Beit Lahiya.