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Croc escapes in NT zoo heist

AAP logoAAP 15/12/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

A bull crocodile has made the most of an opportunity to escape his pen after thieves allegedly broke into a Northern Territory wildlife park to stage a midnight reptile robbery.

Police say the perimeter fence of Darwin's Crocodylus Park was cut in the early hours of Wednesday morning and a juvenile saltwater croc is believed to have been stolen.

The park's crocodile production manager, Olivia Plume, said the large adult male then made a break for it through the hole they cut.

"It was a dangerous situation for not only our staff that had to retrieve it but also for the general public," she told NT News.

Ms Plume said anybody walking through the adjacent Holmes Jungle Nature Park at the edge of Darwin's northern suburbs could potentially have been killed.

The crocodile is an Indonesian breed, which raised concerns about an exotic animal roaming loose.

Ms Plume said it was "extremely irresponsible" to climb into a pen with hundreds of crocodiles, with some up to 1.5m long.

"They could have potentially lassoed a few of the animals and got them out if they knew what they were doing," she said.

Ms Plume is worried the thieves will try to sell the stolen juvenile as a pet or harvest its skin.

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