MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) — Police in the city of Yekaterinburg in Russia's Urals warned residents on Wednesday that a crocodile is on the loose and could be in the river that flows through the city center.
City police said a local resident raised the alarm after seeing a crocodile near the city circus that looked like it was heading for the Iset river.
A local traffic police patrol also reportedly noted a crocodile making its way to the water.
Local media reports initially cited local police as suggesting that the crocodile might have escaped from a local circus, but later in the day the Yekaterinburg circus said that staff had counted all their crocodiles and found none missing.
City police also said they were investigating the possibility that it escaped from an exotic pet shop or from a private owner.
A city police spokesperson reassured the public that while officers are not trained in capturing reptiles, they will contact zoo experts as soon as they find it – and will not open fire on it.
Home to approximately 1.4 million people, Yekaterinburg is Russia's fourth largest city.
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Infographics: World War I, 1914-1918