The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said it’s highly unlikely there are more crocodiles are in the West Alexandria area after one was captured Wednesday in a creek.
More than a dozen kids from a church group were playing in the creek around 7:30 p.m. when a dark shape was spotted down the creek, the Dayton Daily News reported.
One of the church members who was on a bridge that goes over the creek saw the large shadowy figure.
As it got closer to the group, the church member yelled for everyone to get out before realizing the figure was a crocodile.
Wildlife Officer Brad Turner responded and killed it “due to a public safety concern,” he said.
Members of the group said it was necessary in order to protect any children who were in or may go into the water.
The crocodile was 7.5 feet and shipped to Columbus, where the Ohio Department of Agriculture will investigate the case.
It is not clear how the crocodile got into Bantas Fork Creek, but the ODA is checking to see if it had been tagged or chipped as a pet.
Turner said finding a crocodile in Ohio is “very rare” and that it was his first crocodile call in his 12-year career.
He added that the group in West Alexandria "did the perfect thing," and he advised anyone who finds an alligator or crocodile in the wild to call local law enforcement or a wildlife officer.
Hilltop had everyone immediately get out of the water and stand on a bridge as Turner was contacted.
A few people kept an eye on the crocodile until Turner arrived and removed it, according to the Facebook post.
"It's kind of like you're going out to enjoy an evening, and all of a sudden, terror strikes," said Richard Turnbull, who leads a children's group for Hilltop. "We don't expect a wild animal down here, especially a crocodile, it doesn't belong here."
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