A CROCODILE, weighing more than 100kg, was found in Moss Vale this week.
The two-and-a-half metre long ornamental croc was returned to Southern Highlands Early Childhood Learning Centre after it was stolen in March.
Owner Peter Garrad said the reptile, made from reconstituted tyres, was returned on Tuesday morning, along with a frog that had also been taken.
A parent of two of the centre’s former pupils found the crocodile while he was mowing long grass at the end of Beaconsfield Road. The children at the centre decided to celebrate the return of their crocodile and frog by naming them after the children of the man who found them – Kieran the Crocodile and Darcy the Frog. Mr Garrad said in March that the children were in “disbelief” that “bad people” had taken the ornamental creatures.
Early childhood teacher Briony Reeves said the children were “really excited” to have the crocodile and frog back. “We’d spoken about how it had been taken away by bad people and when it was returned they couldn’t wait to get outside,” she said.
“It was very unexpected but they’re really, really happy to have it back.”
The crocodile had been undisturbed at the centre for more than a decade before it was stolen earlier this year.
He said the man remembered the croce belonged at the centre after seeing a Southern Highland News story about the theft.
Mr Garrad it was the first time anything had been stolen from the centre since it first opened 11 years ago.
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