Glasgow & West Scotland

Mystery over stuffed crocodile found near golf course

Dead crocodile Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption The Scottish SPCA wants to find out how the dead reptile came to be near the golf course

An animal welfare charity is appealing for help after a dead crocodile was found in South Lanarkshire.

The West African Dwarf Crocodile was spotted in water at Carnwath Golf Course, near Biggar, on 19 May.

The 4ft 6in reptile had tape wrapped around its head, no insides and straw stuck in its legs.

The Scottish SPCA said it looked like someone had tried to stuff the animal. Owners of the protected species require a dangerous wild animal licence.

Scottish SPCA Inspector Heather Lawson collected the crocodile after it had been spotted by members of the public and took it to the National Museum of Scotland to have it identified.

'Complete mystery'

She said: "I first thought it was a prank when I received a call saying there had been sightings of a crocodile but when I investigated I found it was real.

"The crocodile was dead and oddly had tape wrapped around its head. It seems someone has attempted to stuff the crocodile as it had no insides and there was straw stuck in its legs.

"We found it on 19 May and we've been waiting for identification. We now know it was a West African Dwarf Crocodile and it's a complete mystery how it got there."

Insp Lawson said it was not known how the crocodile died.

"These are protected animals and anyone who owns one in this country would need to have a dangerous wild animal license," she said.

"We are interested in finding out the circumstances and are appealing to anyone with information to contact us."

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