Crocodile found in small southern Ohio creek
A crocodile is not something one encounters everyday in the United States, let alone along a small stream in Ohio’s Preble County near the state line with Indiana.
Yet on Aug. 14, the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s officer assigned to the county – Brad Turner – responded to a call that a crocodilian animal was swimming in tiny Brantis Fork Creek near the also small town of West Alexandria.
Turner was notified of the animal’s appearance near a local church camp following a report made by a group leader who was with a number of children. The wildlife officer shot the creature “for public safety,” said Brett Gates, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
The Agriculture Department became involved because it is this state body that oversees Ohio’s dangerous wild animal permitting law. This measure was enacted in 2014 following the intentional release of a host of dangerous big-game animals in north-central Ohio.
It is the Agriculture Department which issues permits to entities for possessing specifically named wildlife which are considered dangerous, among them being crocodiles. In all, the Agriculture Department has currently on file 38 dangerous wild animal permits, Gates said.
Gates said the 7-1/2-foot, 171-pound crocodile was delivered to the Agriculture Department on Aug. 15.
“We wanted to see if the animal was micro-chipped or was otherwise marked in such a way as to identify its owner,” Gate said. “But we also wanted to see what kind of crocodile it was.”
For more on the story, see the Aug. 30 issue of Ohio Outdoor News.