Caiman went: Swiss authorities call off hunt for reptile

National/World

BERLIN (AP) — This caiman went: Swiss authorities say they’re calling off the hunt for an alligator-like reptile spotted in an inland lake, declaring it “a phantom.”

The meter-and-a-half (5-foot) long caiman was spotted by a fisherman in Lake Hallwil, about 50 kilometers west of Zurich, on July 14 when it briefly surfaced and scarfed down a duck.

Police considered the report credible, saying the caiman — indigenous to Central and South America — was likely an abandoned pet.

But spokesman Bernhard Graser told news site 20 Minuten Tuesday searches have been called off.

He says “he isn’t doing any harm, it’s like a kangaroo roaming around freely here — it doesn’t belong, but it doesn’t hurt either.”

Graser says: “He’ll probably remain a phantom, making it the summer story of the year.”

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