Posters warning of a small crocodile-like creature living in a pond in Shirley are a hoax. Croydon Council has denied issuing the signs, which bear a fuzzy reproduction of its logo, saying it is the work of a prankster. News of the croc broke on Monday on the website www.jackguest.com. Then another contributor posted a mock-up picture of a croc sitting on a grass verge near one of Croydon's trams. The following morning a copy of the poster arrived at the Guardian offices, with an anonymous hand-written note saying: "Council are trying to keep this quiet." The posters - several have been posted round the park - warn of a "small crocodile-like creature" living in Millers Pond, which is thought to be "an escaped pet which has thrived due to the recent hot weather". It signs off with: "Important: do not approach creature." A council spokesman said: "The sign is obviously a spoof sign put there by a prankster and is not an official Croydon Council notice."
10:13am Friday 5th September 2003