UK

#TheBristolCroc: Has A 6ft Crocodile Been Photographed In Bristol's River Avon? (PICTURE)

26/06/2014 12:38 BST | Updated 26/06/2014 12:59 BST

Bristol’s most exotic and elusive resident has been spotted again – and this time he’s been photographed too.

A series of somewhat unlikely sightings of a six-foot-long crocodile have been reported in the area since February.

But this week comes some of the most solid proof of all – in the form of this picture taken by jogger Tamara Blanco.

bristol crocodile

'Can't a croc get a little peace?'

The 29-year-old was running along the River Avon when she snapped what looks like a crocodile’s head and snout emerging from the water under the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

"I was running close to the Suspension Bridge and suddenly I saw something in the water.

"I had heard about a crocodile but that was a long time ago, so when I went home I checked on the internet and I saw that other people had seen it too.

"I felt scared at the time because the thing - whatever it was - was moving in the water.

"I wanted to stay to see it properly but there was no one around and I just didn't feel comfortable."

Back in February, a comedy Twitter account was set up in the name of the animal.

On Thursday @TheBristolCroc tweeted: “There I was, swimming along, minding my own business, then a bloody Spanish jogger starts filming me. Can’t a croc get a little peace?”

This was preceeded by “I’m back… snap snap” on 4 June.

Blanco, who works in clothes shop Zara, added: "I could feel my hair start to stand on end and I thought 'Oh my God, is it a crocodile?' and I just left the place."

Fears a reptile was on the loose were first realised when a bus driver notified police he had spotted the beast lurking under a Coronation Bridge.

Avon and Somerset police Chief Constable Nick Gargan tweeted an investigation had been launched but there had been no sign of it.

A second sighting of the alleged crocodile came from mother-of-three Kelly Gray, 41, of Bishopsworth, who claims to have spotted it two days later.

Local councillor Tom Aditya, 39, then captured video footage a week later.

Since then the crocodile had not been reported until Blanco was out on a run Tuesday evening.

Reptile expert 'Crocodile Joe' - one of Britain's only approved reptile rescue specialists and a regular on BBC shows such as Blue Peter - said it is not impossible for a croc to survive in British waters.

However, he warned only a very large reptile could survive - and speculated it could be an alligator.

He said: "It would be hard for a crocodile to deal with the cold temperatures for five months as it would be unable to break down it's food.

"Having said that if it was a big crocodile it would probably be able to survive that long, and the relatively mild winter would have helped.

"It's more likely that it would be an alligator really because they don't necessarily need warmer waters to survive.

"It's quite difficult to tell what it is from the pictures, though it's unlikely it's a crocodile it isn't impossible."