Police in Surrey, British Columbia say they've received more than one call about a crocodile sighting in a marsh off the highway. Sounds pretty scary, but police are urging citizens to not be alarmed: the croc is just a floating old truck tire, according to the police Twitter account.
Crocodiles, which are found in Africa, Asia, Australia and the southern Americas (including some US states), are not likely to be found in the Metro Vancouver area. "I can say that with 100 percent certainty that it's some type of debris," Corporal Scotty Schumann of the Surrey RCMP told Motherboard over the phone. "Last time I checked, crocodiles and alligators were not indigenous to the lower mainland of B.C."
Even so, some locals are not so easily persuaded and have their own theories about the tire. One suggested it was a very believable fake crocodile.
Surrey RCMP was also alerted to the same area a few weeks back, citing the same concern. They say they are sure that no, it's not an alligator vacationing in B.C. In fact, tire debris looks so similar to a giant reptile that it's sometimes called a "road alligator," so the people phoning police aren't really too far off. "It's creating a hazard when people slow down and stop to see this," Schumann said, adding that slowing down to stare at this would-be crocodile off the highway is "not worth the risk of getting into an accident."
The Surrey RCMP Twitter account did say that the object has moved a bit, which is unnerving, because crocodiles are known to be one of nature's most skilled hunters. They use stealth techniques to lure prey into a false sense of security, then SNAP, drag it deep down to the depths so the croc can feast.
This is just a tire, though, and it's going to stay where it is for now. "We aren't confident wading out there, so it's going to stay there for the time being," Schumann said.
Update: This piece has been updated with comment from Surrey RCMP Corporal Scotty Schumann.
Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter .