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January 16, 2012

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Mystery over saltwater crocodile found in river

A DEAD crocodile was found yesterday in a river in the Pudong New Area.

Authorities are now investigating the cause of its death.

The saltwater crocodile - the biggest reptile in the world and native to northern Australia, the east coast of India and parts of southeast Asia - was fished out of the Zhaojiagou River by a resident surnamed Zhao near his home.

"I've never seen such a thing before in my life," Zhao said.

The 2.1-meter-long crocodile showed no signs of trauma, said police. Some specimens exceed 6 meters in length.

It was sent to Pudong New Area Forestry Office for further examination.

Wu Shiying, deputy director of the office, said while there is a crocodile farm in the city, it was more likely to have escaped from a home or restaurant.

"There is a legal crocodile plant in Pudong, raising more than 2,000 crocodiles," he said. "But the farm is far from where the crocodile's body was found."

Once the cause of death is established, its body will go to the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum for display.

In 2009, two saltwater crocodiles were found in Yangpu and Qingpu districts.

And in 2008, one turned up in a school swimming pool in Minhang District, terrifying pupils and teachers.

All these crocodiles ended up in the Shanghai Zoo.


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