POLICE have launched a ‘croc hunt’ for a 1.5 metre-long crocodile spotted in a Spanish river.
It comes after terrified locals in the city of Valladolid reported multiple sightings during the past two days.
The sightings took place on a stretch of the River Duoro between the towns of Simancas and Tordesillas.
Drones have been dispatched to patrol the river where the croc was spotted.
The search effort has involved the Guardia Civil’s environmental branch SEPRONA, as well as local police.
As a precaution, fishermen and kayakers have been excluded from a five kilometre radius of the first reported sighting of the beast.
A spokesperson from Simancas Town Hall said: “A dangerous animal has been spotted in our municipality, specifically in the river.
“We urge locals and visitors not to bathe in the river or step too close to the water.”
The discovery of ‘two nests’ has bolstered the alleged sightings, while fish have been spotted with distinctive bite marks, typical of a large reptile.
Tracks in the sand coinciding with the movements of a large crocodile have also been discovered by biologists working in the area.
According to experts, the reptile is likely a Nile crocodile and is probably either an escaped pet or has been released by his owner.
Nile crocodiles are the largest freshwater crocodile and can grow up to five metres long.
They are known for being ferocious predators and have been responsible for numerous deaths of fishermen and children who stray too close.
This is not the first time a croc has been spotted in Spanish waters.
In 2015, a large freshwater crocodile was spotted in a bathing area of the River Guadalquivir near Majaneque, Cordoba.