Little Croc Creates Little Chaos, But Giant Python Clears The Pool

photo of crocodile skinSwimmers were surprised, though not particularly frightened, to find a small crocodile in a public swimming pool in the city of Darwin, Australia, early in September. Lifeguard Tim Dupe, who retrieved the creature as oblivious bathers swam around it, said he initially thought it was a rubber toy. But the 16-inch freshwater crocodile was real, and was snapping its jaws when Dupe fished it out. A rubber band soon fixed that problem.

Two women who were swimming in the same pool as the crocodile didn't seem particularly worried by the visitor. "He's only a baby — very small," said one woman.

"It was rather cute," said the other.

Dupe said he was amused by the incident, and added that the crocodile was probably thrown in the pool by pranksters.

The young croc was in healthy condition, and has since been released to the wild by rangers at a secret location in the Darwin area.

Around the same time, though a few thousand miles to the north in Malaysia, a much larger reptile was wallowing at the bottom of a swimming pool at a private club near Kuala Lumpur sent bathers running, according to a report from a global news agency.

A woman who dived into the pool spotted a 13-foot python resting under a steel ladder. Eight other people, including children, were swimming in the pool when the alarm was raised. The club's management called the fire department, which safely removed the python. No one was injured.

A fire department spokesman said the snake may have slipped into the pool from nearby bushes to cool itself. Pythons are common in tropical Malaysia, but attacks on humans are rare.

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