A pretty jogger has captured the clearest picture yet of the elusive ‘Bristol Crocodile’ lurking in the waters of the River Avon.
The 6ft predator was first spotted by a bus driver who prompted a full-scale police search back in February.
A number of other possible sightings emerged but the mysterious created has not been seen for five months.
But now Tamara Blanco, 29, has captured a clear image of what looks like a crocodile’s head and snout emerging from the water under the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Tamara, 29, a Spanish national living in Southville, Bristol, said: “I was running close to the Suspension Bridge and suddenly I saw something in the water.
“I had heard about a crocodile but that was a long time ago, so when I went home I checked on the internet and I saw that other people had seen it too.
“I felt scared at the time because the thing – whatever it was – was moving in the water.
“I wanted to stay to see it properly but there was no one around and I just didn’t feel comfortable.”
Tamara, who works in clothes shop Zara, added: “I could feel my hair start to stand on end and I thought ‘Oh my God, is it a crocodile?’ and I just left the place.”
Fears a crocodile was on the loose in Bristol were first triggered when Avon and Somerset police Chief Constable Nick Gargan tweeted that a bus driver had reported a sighting from Bedminster Bridge.
Mr Gargan revealed the police had launched an investigation, but a search “found no trace” of the beast on Monday February 3.
A second sighting of the alleged crocodile came from mother-of-three Kelly Gray, 41, of Bishopsworth, who saw the beast two days later.
Local councillor Tom Aditya (corr), 39, then captured video footage a week later.
Since then the crocodile had not been spotted until Tamara was out on a run Tuesday evening (24/6).
Reptile expert ‘Crocodile Joe’ – one of Britain’s only approved reptile rescue specialists and a regular on BBC shows such as Blue Peter – said it is not impossible for a croc to survive in British waters.
However, he warned only a very large reptile could survive – and speculated it could be an ALIGATOR.
He said: “It would be hard for a crocodile to deal with the cold temperatures for five months as it would be unable to break down it’s food.
“Having said that if it was a big crocodile it would probably be able to survive that long, and the relatively mild winter would have helped.
“It’s more likely that it would be an alligator really because they don’t necessarily need warmer waters to survive.
“It’s quite difficult to tell what it is from the pictures, though it’s unlikely it’s a crocodile it isn’t impossible.”