Search on After Crocodile Sighted in Jordan River Tributary

YERUSHALAYIM -
A resident of the crocodile farm in Hamat Gader, along the border with Jordan. (Jorge Novominsky/File Photo)

Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority said Sunday it was hunting for a crocodile, after a notification from Jordanian Army soldiers on the border that the creature had been spotted in the Yarmouk River, the largest tributary of the Jordan, according to Channel 12.

A search was undertaken between Sha’ar HaGolan and the small northern community of Masada.

The INPA said it was coordinating with the IDF, while also checking with operators of a crocodile farm operated as a tourist attraction at a Hamat Gader hot springs spa, the obvious suspect for being the source of a crocodile.

“The authority is working with the army to get permission to cross the [border] fence in order to carry out searches in the area,” the INPA said in a statement.

Crocodiles are no longer native to Israel, since the last were killed by hunters in the early 20th century, but various tourist farms house the reptiles.

This would not be the first case of a crocodile on the loose in Israel. In 2015, an escaped crocodile was captured near Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast. It was believed to have escaped from a nearby crocodile farm.