17/12/2011 10:21 GMT | Updated 16/02/2012 05:12 GMT

Crocodile Left Outside Exotic Animals Centre In Near-Freezing Temperatures

Staff at an exotic animals learning centre have condemned the owner of a young crocodile who dumped the reptile outside the premises in near-freezing temperatures.

Jimmy Wick, who runs Wickid Pets animal park in Wolverhampton, said the metre-long female crocodile - left in a sealed box on Thursday morning - was the latest in a string of animals to be abandoned near his gates.

The animal expert, whose centre offers guidance in caring for exotic species, said of the crocodile: "It's the fourth one we've had in 18 months and so now when we see a plastic box we have to approach it with caution.

"This has been scanned and there's no chip in it and so it's obviously come through the black market.

"It's ridiculous - to risk leaving an animal outside in these temperatures is not fair on the animal and it beggars belief."

Mr Wick, who is attempting to rehouse the crocodile at a nearby safari park, has previously had to find homes for turtles, chickens, ducks, birds of prey, snakes and lizards that have been left at the centre.