Mon, Feb 23, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Crafty Hong Kong croc reappears after two-month hiatus

DPA , HONG KONG

An escaped crocodile in Hong Kong which has evaded repeated attempts to capture it has reappeared two months after the last sighting of it, a news report said yesterday.

The crafty crocodile -- which eluded top Australian croc hunter John Lever and a team of Chinese experts in November and December -- has turned up among fish farms on the Hong Kong-Chinese border.

The Sunday Morning Post newspaper ran a front page picture of the crocodile, which has grown from 1.2m to around 2m and looks heftier than on its last sighting in December.

Teams of cameramen and observers spent weeks watching the crocodile repeatedly escape the clutches of would-be captors in November and December in the rural Yuen Long district.

Eventually, after making front page news for weeks and becoming a local celebrity, it slunk off out of the spotlight and has not been seen since mid-December.

Now the crocodile, believed to be an escaped pet or a creature that has swum to Hong Kong from a reptile farm in China, has reappeared kilometers away in a river surrounded by fish farms.

A fish farmer working near the crocodile's new stretch of water told the newspaper: "It never comes up this side of the bank. I think it's too steep for it. Of course I also have 10 dogs."

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