top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

Roads closed, divers called: Fake crocodile dupes French town

Emergency crews were called to find a crocodile in the Dordogne river… but it turned out to be a plastic replica

Firefighters after capturing the ‘crocodile’ in the Dordogne river Pic: Ville de Bergerac / Facebook

Firefighters and divers were scrambled to a French town after a ‘crocodile’ was spotted in a river.

Authorities even told locals to stay away from Bergerac town centre amid the ‘discovery’ in the Dordogne. 

Roads were also closed as emergency crews began their hunt for the ‘reptile’. 

But a couple of hours after issuing the warning, Bergerac town hall admitted the ‘crocodile’ was a fake.

Officials later told The Connexion the incident was not a prank and that a number of people had reported seeing the animal in the river.

Big emergency response

Despite being a false alarm, the town did take the matter seriously, alerting emergency services quickly after the first call from a passer-by who had noticed the ‘animal’.

As officials posted on Ville de Bergerac’s social media account to warn residents, a team of firefighters, divers, gendarmes, and even members from the Office français de la biodiversité (French Office for Biodiversity) were scrambled.

They used poles and a net to catch the ‘animal’, before realising it was a realistic - albeit plastic - imitation.

Town sees the funny side

After the false alarm, the town’s social media posts show the authority was able to see the funny side.

After a resident asked a question about why the animal was not floating if it was a fake one, the town replied “the autopsy will tell us!”

It also made light of the situation on Tuesday (May 23) morning, changing the photo of its Facebook page to highlight the ‘crocodile’ (which is in fact a mediaeval dragon) found on the town’s coat of arms. 

Related articles

Police probe reports of a lion roaming near a town in northern France

Lions, crocodiles: How exotic animal ownership rules work in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France