An escaping crocodile captured at Chatan restaurant

An escaping crocodile captured at Chatan restaurant

The crocodile which was captured after escaping from a restaurant, at the Okinawa Zoo & Museum on April 12.


April 13, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

Around 8:43 a.m. on April 12, the police received a phone call that a reared crocodile had escaped from a restaurant in Mihama district of Chatan. The restaurant was temporarily closed for renovations. At 9:55 a.m., the police officers found the crocodile at a site located at the back of the restaurant. After about an hour, they captured the reptile with the help of staff from the Okinawa Zoo & Museum. According to the Okinawa City Police Office, the crocodile did not hurt the officers and the local people even though it resisted a little. The zoo temporarily took the crocodile into its care.

According to a spokesperson of the zoo, the crocodile is a spectacled caiman which is about 150 centimeters long and weighed about 25 kilograms.

An owner of the restaurant named “Crocodile”, which is located within Mihama American Village in Chatan, has been raising the crocodile as a pet for 15 years. Around 7:00 a.m. on April 12, one of the restaurant staff noticed the crocodile escaping from a pond in the restaurant, and reported to the police office. After that, several dozen police officers surrounded the crocodile and captured it by using special tools while local residents were watching. It is unclear how the crocodile escaped.

According to the restaurant owner Riki Matsuyama, he has been raising the crocodile in the restaurant pond since the zoo handed it over to him.
Matsuyama has temporarily closed the restaurant for renovation in order to obtain permission from the local government to raise dangerous animals within the facility. Matsuyama said the crocodile never bites or hurts people. He went on to say, “I am glad the crocodile was safely found and nobody was injured. I am sorry to have disturbed neighbors.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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