Spanish Police are hunting a 7-foot-long reptile that has been terrifying a tourist resort in the country’s south.
The crocodile (or alligator — experts have not yet determined which) was first spotted on a golf course near the town of Mijas on the Costa del Sol and has since been glimpsed stalking nearby waterways. Locally dubbed the ‘Costa Croc,’ the creature is now the subject of a search by special police motorcycle units who hope to catch it basking in the Mediterranean sun.
Enrique Prieto, manager of the Crocodile Park in nearby Torremolinos, examined the beast’s tracks and estimates it’s between 12 and 18 years old and weighs around 155 pounds. “It is unlikely to pose a danger to humans unless they stumbled across it in the undergrowth,” he told The Independent, adding that with its metabolism slower in the colder months, it doesn’t need to feed as often.
Nevertheless, local authorities are taking no chances and have posted red warning signs that say: “Grave danger. Crocodile on the loose.” The animal was spotted near the Majada Vieja lakes, just east of Marbella, which are overlooked by hundreds of mainly British-owned holiday homes.
Ross Bell, restaurant manager at El Soto Golf Club, told the Daily Mail that police are warning local residents to be on their guard. “We’re still intending [to go] down there after work most nights to see if we can spot it,” he said. “I’ve been told they can run fast but I’ll make sure I run faster if I come across it. I suspect it will turn out to be a caiman.”
Although not to be trifled with, the Costa Croc has little on the world’s largest crocodile that was caught in the Philippines in 2011. ‘Lolong,’ who died last month at about 50 years old, weighed a whopping 2,370 pounds and measured 21 feet long.