Crocodiles and alligator rescued
Published 23/12/2011 | 17:57
Police have discovered 11 Nile crocodiles - five of them squeezed into a small shower - and an alligator at a house in northern Belgium.
They were searching the villa of a German man suspected of fraud in the village of Lapscheure when they came across the reptiles.
Five of the crocodiles were found squeezed into a small, dirty shower, five others were kept in an aquarium made for only two and the alligator was rolled up in several blankets.
"They were really kept in horrible conditions," said Frederik Thoelen, a biologist at the Nature Rescue Centre where they are now being kept.
He said the owner told them the crocodiles were about five years old, but they were far too small for their age, most likely because of their restrictive caging and insufficient food. Instead of measuring more than two metres (six feet), they were only a little over one metre (three feet).
Mr Thoelen said the animals will probably not get a special treat for Christmas because "they got their biggest present yesterday" when they were rescued.