You’d think the only the place you would be able to find a croc in south Wales would be in a zoo or on the foot of someone who has given up on fashion.
But builders were left stunned after they discovered the remains of such a reptile underneath the floorboards of a school in Rhondda.
Crikey. Credit: Wales News Service
The workers were undertaking renovations at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Bodringallt on Wednesday when they stumbled upon the decomposing body of the five-foot long predator.
While it is not known for definite how the crocodile ended up there, it seems more than likely that the carcass confirms a decades old rumour that a croc had once been at the school.
Head teacher, Dr Neil Pike, said workers were ‘shocked’ and ‘didn’t expect to find such a thing’ (you don’t say) but he is hopeful now that the whole truth will come out.
He said: “I’d heard a story that parents and school staff had buried a crocodile under the school some time between the two world wars.
“I thought it was an old myth and I didn’t take much notice until Thursday morning when I went to check the building work at the school. Laid on the floor of the hall was the crocodile.
“It is said to have been exhibited for some time before burial. Perhaps we will know all the history now.”
Unsurprisingly, builders were shocked by what they found under the floorboards. Credit: Wales News Service
Former head of school, Marian Roberts, said she believed the reptile was in fact a caiman, which belong to the same family as crocs and alligators, but have a shorter broader head and longer teeth.
Mrs Roberts – who was formerly a pupil at the school – said the mysterious creature had been spoken about at the school for as long as she could remember.
She said: “My dad had been talking about this crocodile since I was a little girl.
“When I went there in 1961, he asked me where the crocodile was.
“When I was the head teacher then, people who were coming to the school asked if he was still there – he obviously had an impact on people.”
Now the caiman has been exhumed, the school will do a research project into the history of the animal and how it came to be at the school. As to what they will do with the caiman itself, Dr Pike is yet to decide.
He said: “Bury it again or display it? We’ll see.”