The Bristol Crocodile, the Inverness Tapir, and other terrifying beasts of Britain

Bristol Crocodile
A crocodile. Definitely. In no way a plastic bag. (Photo: SWNS)

Is this a crocodile in the River Avon? After the horrors of the Essex lion and the Dorchester monkey, Britain is once again quaking with fear at the sighting of yet another dangerous and exotic animal on the loose in its cities. A crocodile – or possibly an alligator, more suited to our chilly climes, apparently – has been spotted swimming, carefree and bold, in the river near Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge.

To the untutored eye it might look a little like a floating bin bag, but have no doubt: this is clearly a six-foot-long semi-aquatic reptilian predator. Not a bin bag.

But who knows what other terrifying fauna there is on our shores? We’ve put together a list of some of the more unsettling sightings. See what you think.

The Liverpool rhino

Could this be a sighting of the western black rhino on the streets of Liverpool city centre?

The western black rhino is believed to be extinct in sub-Saharan Africa. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The Blackpool gorilla

Normally the eastern lowland gorilla is found on the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. But could escaped pets have formed a breeding population underneath Blackpool Pier?

A silverback gorilla can weigh up to 600lb

The High Wycombe echidna

Usually confined to Australia, a possible invasion of these spiny insectivorous mammals is worrying residents of Buckinghamshire.

Echidnas, like their relative the platypus, are monotremes, the only kind of mammal that lays eggs

The Lyme Regis anaconda

The world’s largest snake – on the loose on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast? Is it too strange to be true – or too strange NOT TO BE?

The anaconda, a native of South America, is not poisonous but kills its prey by constriction – crushing them to death

The Inverness tapir

The Brazilian tapir is a rare visitor to these shores, but has one made its home on the banks of the Caledonian Canal?

The tapir is an odd-toed ungulate, related to horses and rhinoceroses

The Ashby-de-la-Zouch pterodactyl

Many zoologists thought that the flying reptiles known as pterodactyls were extinct. But does this photo prove them wrong?

Pterosaurs such as the pterodactyl were agile aerial predators

Keep your eyes open – there might be more to see in the woods and streets of Britain than you realise…

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