French police seek escaped gators

Aug. 24, 2010 at 1:04 PM

PIERRELATTE, France, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Police in France said a pair of alligators they previously believed were stolen from a private zoo likely escaped instead.

Drome province police said the alligators, which went missing from a private crocodile farm near the town of Pierrelatte, were initially believed to have been stolen in late July, but recent evidence suggests they merely escaped, Radio France Internationale reported Tuesday.

"Traces of their presence were found, and we now have hope to find them," a police spokesman said.

The spokesman said the alligators do not pose a risk to humans.

"These are young alligators whose jaws are no bigger than a poodle's, so no one will be eaten," he said. The spokesman said the alligators can't survive the winter outside because "they cannot handle temperatures lower than five degrees."

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