HANCOCK COUNTY — Indiana Conservation officers found a crocodile in northern Hancock County Monday after a landowner there called to say he thought he saw a reptile resembling an alligator in Brandywine Creek.

Indiana Conservation Officer Ted Stine responded to the area and found tracks in the mud that were consistent with an alligator.  Conservation officers were able to locate and capture the reptile using spot lights and large dip nets. Once it was captured, it was determined to be a 3-foot-long crocodile. The crocodile is currently being housed at a secure facility until a suitable home can be located.

Crocodiles and alligators are not native to Indiana, officers said, although they are occasionally found here. It is legal to possess a crocodilian up to 5-feet long in Indiana without a state permit, however some species may require a federal permit.

“Crocodilians are generally purchased by people who are interested in caring for an exotic and exciting pet, but they soon realize that proper care is difficult and expensive.” said Capt. Bill Browne.  “The focus now will be to determine who may have released it, and make sure they do not have any other wild animals that might be released.”

If you have any information about where this crocodile may have come from, please contact the 1-800-TIP-IDNR call line.  Callers can remain anonymous.