WEST ALEXANDRIA, Ohio (FOX19) - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division says they captured and killed a crocodile in a Dayton-area creek Wednesday night.
Ohio Department of Agriculture Deputy Communication Director Brett Gates says the crocodile was found swimming in Bantas Creek.
Gates says the ODNR Division of Wildlife had to put the crocodile down when it poked its head out of the water.
The Department of Agriculture will examine the reptile’s remains Thursday and will be looking for identifying indicators including a microchip, he says. This will determine if the crocodile was a pet that was put in the water.
According to the National Park Services, American Crocodiles are only native to coastal areas of south Florida where they are at the northern extreme of their species range.
Rich Denius was with his HillTop children’s group at the creek when the crocodile appeared in the water.
He posted about the experience on Facebook and says the children were splashing in the creek and ‘having a great time.'
Denius says the kids had only been in the water for a few minutes when a few people in the group noticed something dark coming toward them.
He says he could see the bumps on its back above the surface and under the water and knew it was more than a fish.
Denius says he called for the kids to get out of the water while the crocodile swam past them and they called the local game warden Wildlife Officer Brad Turner.
Gates says the crocodile was seven feet long and they are unsure of where it came from.
No one was harmed during the encounter with the reptile.