Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Sakher, a crocodile captured and named by Palestinian police after it lived in a sewage pond since fleeing the zoo in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip two years ago, is seen through cage bars, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Police officer Lt. Col. Samih al-Sultan says after weeks of chasing the reptile, they finally caught him by entangling him in shark nets. The crocodile was originally bought into blockaded Gaza through a smuggling tunnel linking the territory to neighboring Egypt. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Gaza police catch crocodile after 2 years on lam

First Published Nov 06 2012 05:14 pm • Last Updated Nov 06 2012 05:14 pm

Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip • It took an Internet search, shark nets and two weeks of floating in a sewage pond, but Gaza policemen said Tuesday that they have finally captured a crocodile that was terrifying residents.

The 1.75-meter (5-feet-9-inch) crocodile fled his zoo enclosure two years ago and crawled about a kilometer (half a mile) to a large sewage pit near the northern Gaza Strip town of Umm al-Naser, said Lt. Col. Samih al-Sultan, who led the hunt.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"He had a lot of spirit in him. He wanted to be free," al-Sultan said, watching the crocodile in its new home in a pond with four other crocodiles in a zoo under construction in nearby Beit Lahiya.

"We hope he lives a good life here with his wives," he said.

Residents said they didn’t leave their houses in the evenings, fearing the scary reptile they say ate their ducks and goats.

"We were afraid he would eat us," said farmer Hassan Mohammed of Umm al-Nasser.

Wastewater workers discovered the crocodile in the pit about two months ago, al-Sultan said.

Lacking experience in crocodile hunting, he said he went to the Internet to see how to catch the reluctant reptile. Fishing nets were recommended.

So a team of six policemen and fishermen sat in a boat in the sewage pit for eight hours a day for two weeks, trying to catch the crocodile with the nets.

After several failed attempts, they drained the pond, leaving the croc with nowhere to hide. Then they used tougher shark nets to snare him.


story continues below
story continues below

Al-Sultan said he grew to like and respect the reptile. He named him "sakher," Arabic for "rock," in praise of his stubborn attempt to remain free.

The crocodile was brought drugged into blockaded Gaza through a smuggling tunnel under the Egypt-Gaza border four years ago, said zoo worker Emad al-Qanoua. It wasn’t clear how it managed to escape from the zoo in the first place.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.