Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A 7-foot crocodile was found swimming in an Ohio creek while about 16 kids from a local church group were playing in the water nearby.
Rick Turnbull, an instructor with Hilltop Equestrian Center, said the children, first- through sixth-graders, were playing in Bantas Fork Creek when one of the adults supervising the group spotted a shadow in the water.
The adults quickly got the children out of the water and the adults then got a clear look at the crocodile lurking 20 feet away. Turnbull said the crocodile swam right up to the bridge where the group gathered to look at it.
"He wasn't afraid of us. He swam under it, popped his head up and looked at us," Turnbull told CNN.
Wildlife Officer Brad Turner was summoned to the scene. He said the crocodile was killed out of concern for public safety.
State wildlife officials said the crocodile was likely a pet that escaped or was released into the wild when it became too large to keep. They said an investigation into the reptile's origins is underway.