Hancock Co. -- A landowner in northern Hancock County, near Indianapolis, called Indiana Conservation Officers, saying a reptile resembling an alligator was seen in Brandywine Creek.

Indiana Conservation Officer Ted Stine responded to the call. In the area, he found tracks consistent with an alligator. Once the reptile was located and captured with spotlights and large dip nets, it was determined to be a three-foot-long crocodile.

The crocodile is currently being held in a secure facility until a suitable home can be found.

A crocodile found in Indiana

This is an unusual find, since crocodiles and alligators are not native to Indiana. It is, however, legal to possess a crocodile up to five-feet long in Indiana without a state permit, though some species require a federal permit.

“Crocodilians are generally purchased by people who are interested in caring for an exotic and exciting pet, but they soon realize that proper care is difficult and expensive,” said Capt. Bill Browne. “The focus now will be to determine who may have released it, and make sure they do not have any other wild animals that might be released.”

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is currently investigating where this crocodile came from.