Pet crocodile escapes from closed restaurant in Chatan

Okinawa City Police received a phone call Saturday morning from a Mihama, Chatan, restaurant owner informing that his pet crocodile that had resided in his restaurant had disappeared.

A police patrol that had arrived at the scene found the crocodile behind the restaurant building about an hour later, and with the help of personnel from Okinawa City Zoo, it took about an hour to catch the beast.

According to Okinawa Police, the crocodile was a bit violent but no one was hurt.

The crocodile is a 150-cm-long spectacled caiman weighing about 25 kgs.

According to Riki Matsuyama, the owner of restaurant “Crocodile”, he received the animal 15 years ago, and has kept it in a pond inside the restaurant. He is currently remodeling the restaurant, and has applied for an approval from the Okinawa Prefectural Government to keep his pet crocodile in the restaurant.

After the incident happened and the crocodile was again in safe custody, he said “I’m happy that the crocodile was found, and relieved nobody was hurt. I am sorry for causing all the commotion.”