A panicked mum called the police after spotting what she thought was a crocodile in her back garden, only to be informed that it was an inflatable toy.
Flower beds, patio, the odd decorative gnome - all common features of the typical British garden. Not so the deadly crocodile, more likely to be found sunning itself on the banks on the Nile than on a patio in Plymouth.
So it's easy to see why a Devon mum was shaken when she spotted the toothy three-foot reptile from her kitchen window while making a sandwich.
The mum, who has understandably remained anonymous, rushed to a neighbour's house with her three-year-old. Deciding that it was too dangerous to investigate herself, she called 999 to report the wild animal on the loose.
Within minutes, officers had been dispatched to the house, followed by a crack team of Dartmoor Zoo staff armed with nets, poles and snares.
Police soon arrived on the scene and tentatively approached the croc. However, they began to grow suspicious when the creature did not react after having a bucket of water thrown over it.
Upon further inspection, it was revealed that officers didn't need to wrestle the beast into submission, Crocodile Dundee-style.
In fact, a pin would probably have done the trick, as the 'crocodile' turned out to be an inflatable toy of the variety commonly seen on the nation's beaches.
"I'm absolutely mortified," the mum told the Mirror after the incident. Luckily, the Dartmoor Zoo team was informed of the mix-up while en-route to the scene and told to turn back, sparing her further blushes.
A spokesman for the Devon and Cornwall Police made a tongue-in-cheek statement regarding the incident: "Police officers attended and bravely investigated. The beast turned out to be an inflatable toy crocodile. Police have apprehended the crocodile." Phew!
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