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Preble County crocodile’s origin a mystery; it’s a crime to release one into the wild

Published: Monday, August 19, 2019 @ 8:47 PM

The origin of a 7½-foot crocodile captured last week at the Bantas Fork Creek in Preble County is still a mystery.

RELATED: ODNR: Highly unlikely other crocodiles in Bantas Fork Creek in Preble County

But the Ohio Department of Agriculture was still working Monday to find out where the crocodile came from, and whether anyone would face charges.

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The reptile was spotted around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday by a church group with more than a dozen kids who were playing in the creek.

Wildlife officer Brad Turner of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources responded and killed the crocodile “due to a public safety concern.”

The carcass was taken to Columbus, where the agriculture department determined it had not been tagged or chipped.

“In regards to the dangerous wild animal law, it is a fifth-degree felony to knowingly release a dangerous wild animal or restricted snake into the wild,” Brett Gates of the Ohio Department of Agriculture said.