Croc Gets a Snack During Zoo Break-In
A popular Outback zoo's director said that a 7-year-old Aussie boy broke into the zoo Wednesday, fed several animals to one of its crocodiles, and killed several lizards, the Associated Press reported via the Chicago Sun Times.
The boy had entered the Alice Springs Reptile Center in central Australia by jumping a security fence, zoo director Rex Neindorf said. The incident lasted about 30 minutes and was captured on a security camera.
Once inside, the boy went on a rampage, smashing three lizards to death with a rock and then feeding them to "Terry," the zoo's 11-foot, 440-pound saltwater crocodile, Niendorf said. One of the lizards killed was the zoo's beloved 20-year-old goanna.
The child also fed Terry several live animals by throwing them over the fences surrounding the crocodile's habitat.
''It was like he was playing a game,'' Neindorf said, referring to the blank expression the boy wears in the footage.
Neindorf said the killing spree left 13 animals dead, including a turtle, bearded dragons and thorny devil lizards. Their net value was around $5,500, and although none were rare, some will be difficult to replace, he said.
He also said the boy's small size was likely what allowed him to slip past the zoo's security system.
''We're horrified that anyone can do this and saddened by the age of the child,'' Neindorf said.
The boy's name was not released because of his age, and Alice Springs police said they are unable to press charges against the boy because he is so young.
Niendorf said he intends to sue the child's parents.
''I just want people to learn that they can't let their children go and run amok,'' he said. ''If we can't put the blame onto the child, then someone has to accept the responsibility.''