Prints of a large reptile found in Mijas area

On the trail of mystery reptile

THE prints of a large reptile which could be an alligator were found by a lake in Mijas.

Members of the Guardia Civil Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) have been looking for such an animal in the Majada Vieja area, near La Mairena Urbanization on the border with Ojen, since last month following alerts from local residents.

The reptile is believed to be an adult alligator about two metres long and weighing 70 kilos.

Accompanied by an expert in crocodiles, the officers had visited the lake hoping to see it, but found only prints. Alligators can withstand the low temperatures which would have been registered in the lake during the winter months, whereas a crocodile would not.

Seprona has said that the reptile may now have moved on but pointed out that it is not dangerous unless it is attacked or stepped on, because when it is cold, they don’t eat. However, it will begin to seek food from May or June. If it hasn’t been caught by then, traps will be set. The lake is in a quiet area and it would be easy for an alligator to hide underwater amongst the vegetation for several hours.

Local residents have been asked to keep an eye out for the reptile, which Seprona thinks was abandoned by someone in the area. Officers are now checking for people who collect exotic animals. 

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