It looks like there is a crocodile on the loose! Recent sightings, including one made by a police officer, seem to confirm there is a nile crocodile swimming around in the Río Pisuerga close to the town of Simancas in central Spain. The story first came out a couple of days ago and there seem to be some inconsistencies between the different versions I have seen. The croc is claimed to be found in two different rivers (the Duero and the Pisuerga) and various estimates of its size have been offered ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 metres.

While the cops and wildlife experts are busy trying to find the thing, fishermen and kayakers and other river users have been told to keep the hell away for obvious reasons. From what I understand there have been various marks and tracks identified and the remains of a fish that it had dined on.

So where did the crocodile come from? The best guess is that it was somebody´s pet and was accidentally or deliberately released. Seemingly it is not the first time that a crocodile has turned up in a Spanish river. The Olive Press, the source of the English language version of this story, also says that a large freshwater crocodile was seen in a bathing area of the Río Guadalquivir near Majaneque, Córdoba in 2015. There are no further details given and so I have made a mental note that I will refrain from taking a refreshing dip in the river if I am in that neck of the woods.

All this musing over crocodiles brought back to mind a little verse of poetry that my dad quoted to me when I was younger. He had a great memory for poems and texts and I remembered enough of it to let me track it down. It is by Ogden Nash:


“I give you now Professor Twist
The conscientious scientist.
Trustees exclaimed, “He never bungles”
And sent him off to distant jungles.
Camped on a tropic riverside
One day he missed his lovely bride.
She had, the guide informed him later,
Been eaten by an alligator.
Professor Twist could not but smile.
You mean,” he said “a crocodile.!”


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The Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is pretty common in Africa where they are found in 26 countries. They are found also in Madagascar. They are aggressive and can grow up to 6 metres, second only to the saltwater crocodile. As well as Spain, a few have turned up in Florida from time to time.