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January 04, 2018

The crafty croc found roaming in a Melbourne suburb on Christmas Day is having a summer holiday at a wildlife sanctuary while authorities try to find out who owns it.

The crafty croc found roaming in a Melbourne suburb on Christmas Day is having a summer holiday at a wildlife sanctuary while authorities try to find out who owns it.

Four people came forward to claim the 1m-long freshwater crocodile found in a Heidelberg Heights front yard, but the snake wrangler who caught the reptile says he doesn’t believe them.

‘‘I’m not inclined to believe any of them though because they all were saying ‘no need to get the authorities involved’ and they all said they could take it off my hands straight away,’’ snake hunter Mark Pelley said on Wednesday.

Mr Pelley said it was legal to keep a crocodile as a pet in Victoria if you had a licence, and in some circles they were considered a status symbol.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning said the crocodile had been temporarily relocated to Healesville Sanctuary.

They are now ‘‘working with the community to locate the owner’’.

Anyone who wanted to stake a claim would have to prove they were the croc’s rightful owner, the department said.

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