Spanish police are on a hunt for a crocodile in the region of Valladolid after several people reported seeing a massive creature near the confluence of the Duero and Pisuerga rivers over the weekend.
The first calls came in on Friday, when two young boys reported seeing the animal swimming in the river. On Saturday, local police also identified the animal.
“We get all kinds of calls but the one we received today surprised us,” tweeted the Castile and Leon emergency phone number on Saturday. “Police have been deployed to find the crocodile.”
On Sunday, biologists also discovered two suspected nests and parts of fish leftover from the crocodile’s supposed feast, according to local newspaper El Norte de Castilla.
From the evidence, the experts believe they are dealing with a Nile crocodile, which is the second-largest reptile species in the world and considered to be highly aggressive.
Although Nile crocodiles can grow beyond five meters, this specific animal is thought to be around 1.5 meters long (5 feet) and around 200 kilograms (441 pounds). They are widespread in sub-Saharan Africa but not native to Spain.
Local police, a group of biologists and SEPRONA, a special nature unit of Spain’s Civil Guard, are patrolling the rivers and setting up lures in the hopes of capturing the animal.
According to local media, the search crew is being extremely cautious to avoid scaring the crocodile, which could cause it to flee to another area and further complicate the search.
The current focus is on a 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) stretch between the towns of Simancas and Tordesillas.
Although the hunt began on Saturday, the crocodile has still not been captured and the search teams were reinforced on Monday.
Local authorities in the central Spanish region where it was identified are calling the animal “dangerous” and warning residents to avoid the river.