Friday, June 01, 2007

More information on Missing Crocodil: Weight 350Kg!

Circus loses 350kg crocodile

June 01 2007 at 12:27PM
Kiev - Ukrainian air and sea search teams were on the lookout for a Nile crocodile on Friday after the reptile escaped from its circus handlers on a Black Sea beach, the Interfax news agency reported.

The incident took place in a resort district of the port city Marioupol. The crocodile's handler blamed high temperatures for the animal's decision to take to the water.

"It (the crocodile) just couldn't handle the heat," a circus representative told reporters.

Circus managers estimated the carnivore was nearly two metres long and weighed about 350 kilograms.

Beach patrols spotted the croc swimming offshore, but were unable to capture it as the animal would submerge if people or boats approached it, according to the report.

Throngs of beach-goers including women and children were continuing to bathe and play in the surf, despite warnings by loudspeaker of the crocodile's presence in the water.

The incident came less than two weeks after a Ukrainian animal trainer survived a circus bear attack leaving him unconscious and under water for close to four minutes.

That incident took place near the town Novy Rozdol in the western Lviv region after Volodymyr Herbovy, working for the travelling circus Europa, decided to bathe his trained bear Mishka in a lake during warm weather.

The brown bear turned on Herbovy for unknown reasons, but once the trainer was motionless under the water, the animal stopped its attack.

Herbovy survived the near-drowning but was hospitalised. Circus personnel recaptured Mishka the bear without incident.

Temperatures have been unseasonably high in Ukraine since mid-May, in places topping 35 degrees Centigrade. Much of the country's infrastructure lacks air conditioning, resulting in heavily-populated lake and sea beaches during summer months. - Sapa-dpa


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