19 July 2019

Canberra Reptile Zoo devastated after crocodile and pythons stolen

| Lachlan Roberts
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Canberra Reptile Zoo

Jaws Junior has been stolen from the Canberra Reptile Zoo. Photo: Supplied.

A thief broke into Canberra Reptile Zoo in the early hours of Friday morning (19 July) and stole two pythons and a freshwater crocodile, leaving the zoo’s staff and owner devastated.

Around 5am, a man was caught on CCTV footage stealing a Stimson’s python called Tim Tam, a hatchling jungle python called Zebra, a freshwater crocodile named Jaws Junior and an expensive register computer.

The managing director and founder of the zoo, Peter Child, said the thief deliberately targeted the pythons but the crocodile was an opportunistic theft.

“The crocodile had been removed from display and was being kept in a tub in the backroom,” Mr Child said. “The pythons were his intended target because after he broke in he went straight for them.

“He smashed their enclosure and picked them up in his hands and then came back and loaded up with all the products needed to keep the pythons. He broke the enclosures which was superfluous because all he needed to do was to lift the doors out.”

While stealing the register computer will hurt the business’ back pocket the most, stealing three members of the zoo family has devastated the zoo’s small team.

“Each one of these animals has a name and each one was a pet to us. The crocodile has been here for a couple of years,” he said. “The animals themselves would only cost $150 each so he hasn’t stolen them because they are valuable but because he wants to keep them himself.

“We are worried about the crocodile the most because pythons can easily be kept but a freshwater crocodile is hard to look after.

“We also had to open late this morning because forensics had to come through. It hurts us quite a bit because it was a busy morning.”

ACT Policing are investigating and would like to speak to anyone who saw anything suspicious near the zoo, or who may have dashcam footage of the zoo or surrounding area, between 7 pm Thursday (18 July) and 8:30 am Friday (19 July).

Anyone with information that could assist police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website.

Please quote reference 6418811. Information can be provided anonymously.

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