“There’s a crocodile in my Garden”
Exotic animals have become increasingly popular choices as pets and that includes a variety of interesting reptiles. More and more people are choosing to keep snakes and lizards but many do not know how to care from them properly. Some of these pets inevitably escape and this can cause a bit of a stir. The RSPCA receive numerous calls every year from terrified people who have discovered unexpected visitors on their properties.
But sometimes not everything is quite as it seems.
Escaped Reptile Spotted in Garden
The RSPCA have published the details of some of their more memorable calls for help. One of these was from a woman in Plympton announcing that there was an escaped crocodile in her back garden. As the animal was potentially very dangerous, the police and zoo experts were sent to accompany an officer from the RSPCA. They were shocked to find a metre-long crocodile outside of the woman’s kitchen window.
Tackling the Reptile
The woman had asked her neighbours for help but had called the police after everyone had felt that the animal was too dangerous to approach. The police called Dartmoor Zoo and asked them to attend the scene with snare poles, nets and riot shields.
The police threw water over the crocodile from a safe distance and then carefully approached it when it didn’t move. It was then that they realised it was an inflatable toy!
Apparently it isn’t uncommon for people to mistake inanimate objects for various creatures or to believe that strange noises have been made by distressed animals. Another hilarious call to the RSPCA came from a woman who was convinced that there was a distressed bird stuck in her loft. The RSPCA officer who visited her home was unable to locate the bird and eventually discovered that the peeping noise was actually a flat battery alert from a smoke detector!
Cat Stuck in Cavity Wall
In another call, a worried homeowner reported that there was cat stuck in her cavity wall. She could hear the cat yowling and so the RSPCA attended her home. When they arrived they found that the noise was coming from a computer game being played by someone in a bedroom in the house next door.
Think before You Act
The RSPCA receive an incredible number of calls every year and do not have the resources to help everyone. They are forced to prioritise what appear to be the most serious issues. It really helps if people make sure that they really do have a dangerous or distressed animal on their hands before they call for help! But if you do find a potentially dangerous reptile on your property, call the experts and don’t attempt to handle the animal yourself.