Law enforcement officials were called this morning when what appeared to be a crocodile was spotted in the Thames River near Chelsea Harbour. The creature was spotted by Chris Davies as he was walking his dog around 8:00 a.m. Davies says he saw a few other bystanders looking down into the water and stopped to take a look. That’s when he says he saw the “crocodile’s” head and stopped to film a video, naturally:
Two guys were looking at it as I walked towards them with my dog. One of them works for Chelsea Harbour Estate and said the police had been called. It’s not a big one so I was amused more than anything else.
In the video, the animal’s (or whatever it is) head can be seen poking up out of the river as the beast appears to float languidly behind a boat. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, for their part, has said that they “encourage anyone who spots the crocodile to contact the police in the first instance. We are happy to provide animal welfare advice, if necessary, if the animal does turn out to be real.”
Wildlife experts have cast doubt on the veracity of the claims that the animal is indeed a crocodile. Crocodiles typically don’t inhabit waters below 30 degrees Celsius (86 Farhenheit), while the waters of the Thames hover around 12 degrees Celsius (53 F) this time of year.
While I fully expect that climate change will start making strange out-of-place animal sightings a common phenomenon, I have to doubt whether or not a cold-blooded reptile would indeed be in such cold waters. The Sun quoted a local harbormaster as saying the “crocodile’s” head is likely a discarded pond decoration which somehow made its way into the harbor. As always, though, who knows for sure? Animals have been turning up in unexpected places lately. Could this be some unknown cold water reptile, or a sighting of the elusive discarded pond decoration?