Search ends for the alleged Pisuerga crocodile after finding no evidence of its presence

There is no Nile crocodile in the Pisuerga, or at least it could not be located. The Civil Guard has suspended its search as there are no indications or evidence of its presence at the confluence of the Duero and Pisuerga rivers in the municipality of Simancas (Valladolid).

After six days of work, the operation, which has involved agents from the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA), from the Specialized Group on Underwater Activities (GEAS) and biologist experts from the Chelonia association, has been terminated by not evidence of the reptile has been detected, the Civil Guard has reported in a statement.

The Civil Guard became aware of the events through the Simancas Local Police on Saturday, June 6, when it reported that some young people from the town had sighted the previous afternoon in a section at the confluence of the Duero and Pisuerga rivers a animal inside the river crossing from shore to shore, which they did not identify but that looked like a species of crocodile.

With this information, an agent of the Local Police of the Valladolid municipality moved to the place on the morning of Saturday, June 6 and observed, like the young people, said animal swimming in the river and confirmed the presence of what appeared to be a large reptile.

Immediately, members of the Civil Guard for Citizen Security and SEPRONA (Nature Protection Service), who delimited the area and accesses where the alleged sighting occurred, moved to the area to guarantee the safety of citizens.

Subsequently, the search for evidence or indications began both by SEPRONA along the riverbank, and by the GEAS (Specialist Group for Underwater Activities) along the riverbed, for which they traveled both banks and islets located in the area .

In the first two days of searching, possible evidence was found in the area, such as a devoured fish, as well as an area with possible tracks, although they could not identify the type of animal to which they might belong.

Already on Monday the 8th, three members of the non-profit Association Chelonia, based in Madrid, were incorporated into the search media, which is made up of scientists and biologists, who have already collaborated with different Ministries and SEPRONA on other occasions. . Among the projects of this association is the study and tracking of crocodile species in different areas of the world.

Likewise, it had the collaboration of an experienced tracker who, after observing the first evidence and traces, forcefully discarded any indication that they were produced by a species of crocodile, and even suggested that the devoured fish was by an otter , since a crocodile swallows them whole. In addition, on the alleged footprints, he stated that they did not correspond to this type of reptile.

Despite these deductions from the expert, the Civil Guard expanded the search area to a 6-kilometer section, from a power plant to a dam, since according to the orography of the place, according to the technicians, “it was very difficult for an animal of these characteristics could overcome these obstacles ».

On Tuesday the 9th, and after the search was actively terminated and the work carried out in the area, and after the trackers denied the compatibility of the vestiges found with the existence of this type of animal, without completely ruling it out, it continued with the search operation through technical means, “in order to be able to discard its existence with a higher percentage of reliability”.

For this purpose, motion detection cameras were installed (photo-trapping), baits and thermal cameras were placed on night tours and a drone was flown to cover the most inaccessible areas of the riverbanks in order to spot the alleged crocodile.

However, after finding no evidence or indications of the reptile in the area, the Civil Guard has decided to end the search operation.

Lastly, the Armed Institute has thanked the collaboration of all the organizations, associations and individuals who have disinterestedly offered to participate in the device, and in particular to the Chelonia Association, Eco-space (drone flight) and Ramón Valentín, as well as well as the affected municipalities, environmental agents and CHD personnel.