Police in the Gaza Strip on Monday captured a crocodile that roamed the sewerage system of a town in the north of the enclave, the Palestinian territory’s Hamas rulers said.
“The Palestinian police were able to use a boat to catch a crocodile that was hiding in the sewerage system in the town of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip,” the Hamas interior ministry said in a statement.
“The crocodile, which was 1.7 metres (five and a half feet) long, was captured alive after intense and difficult attempts following complaints from residents that their lives were in danger,” it added.
An official in the area said the crocodile was transferred to the Gaza Zoo.
Rajab al-Naqah, the head of waste water treatment in Beit Lahiya, said the crocodile had escaped two years ago, when it was still small, from a nearby zoo to take up residence in the facility, where it threatened people.
Witnesses said the crocodile had attacked cattle that grazed nearby.
Gaza’s water sewerage system has deteriorated over the years, notably because of the Israeli blockade on the Palestinian territory and its devastating 22-day war on militant rocket fire launched in December 2008.