|BERLIN - A German recycling worker sorting rubbish feared an attack when he found a crocodile staring at him from a conveyer belt.|
But the 1.4-metre long reptile turned out to be dead and was taken to refrigerated storage at the natural history museum in Dresden.
\"Sure I got a fright,\" said Thomas Reissmann, 39, who found the creature in Grossraeschen near Berlin. \"We get dead rats, dead cats and hedgehogs but I\'ve never seen anything like this. I was careful at first because it could have been alive.\"
Police trying to discover where the reptile - later identified as a Caiman crocodile - came from, have drawn a blank. The Berlin zoo said it had none missing.
Frank Plueckern, a species protection officer at the Brandenburg state Environmental Agency in Potsdam, said it was not one of the 10 registered crocodiles in the state.
\"This poor chap was probably abandoned by someone who didn\'t know how to care for the animal,\" he said.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE