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‘Funny looking chicken’ in backyard coop turns out to be scaly predator, officials say

In Europe
January 09, 2024

Residents in northern Australia looked in their chicken coop and spotted an animal that didn’t belong there, according to wildlife officials. The scaly intruder was safely removed, photos show.

At first, the residents in Cape Hillsborough thought a goanna, or monitor lizard, had gotten into their backyard chicken coop, the Queensland Department of Environment, Science and Innovation said in a Jan. 9 news release. When they looked closer, they realized the intruder was a “small crocodile.”

Wildlife officers were called to remove the “funny looking chicken,” the Queensland Environment Department said in a Jan. 8 Facebook post.

The crocodile in a chicken coop in Cape Hillsborough.

The crocodile in a chicken coop in Cape Hillsborough.

A photo shared on Facebook by the department shows the crocodile in the corner of the chicken coop.

The roughly 3-foot-long crocodile was placed in a “large PVC tube” and transported to a wildlife holding facility, officials said. A photo shows the reptile looking out of this cylindrical container.

The crocodile found in Cape Hillsborough after being removed from the chicken coop.

The crocodile found in Cape Hillsborough after being removed from the chicken coop.

Wildlife officials said the crocodile was safely removed and no pets or chickens were harmed.

Jane Burns, a senior wildlife officer at the department, said in the release that “while it isn’t unusual to see crocodiles (in this area), it is unusual to find one in someone’s backyard.”

In the Facebook post, the department linked the crocodile’s abnormal behavior to the region’s recent heavy rains and reminded residents that “crocs may be turning up in funny places.”

The evicted crocodile will eventually be moved to a “licensed farm or zoo,” officials said.

Cape Hillsborough is in northern Queensland and about 1,000 miles northwest of Sydney.

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