The crocodile that lurked under the school floor. The amazing story of a reptile immured in a Welsh school

The reptile was discovered in 2019 during repairs, and about two years later, an unusual exhibit took pride of place at a school located in the Rhonta Cynon Taw area in south-east Wales.

When the animal first appeared from under the parquet floor of one of the classrooms, there was no limit to the surprise of the builders and the administration.

“I heard a story about how parents and teachers buried a crocodile somewhere under the school at the time between the two world Wars,” said the headmaster of the school Neil Pike at the time. — But I thought it was just a legend, so I didn’t pay much attention to it. Well, now there’s a crocodile lying on the floor in our lobby!”.

There is no exact information about the origin of the crocodile. In the village they say that he was once brought from abroad by one of the locals who returned home from the fronts of the First World War. According to this version, the reptile was exposed at the school for some time, but then it was hidden under the floor.

Why this was done is also unknown for sure, but the most common version is that at that moment Britain was threatened by World War II, and the administration could hide a valuable exhibit so that it would not be damaged during a possible conflict.

The former principal of the school, Marian Roberts, who was once also a student here, recalls that for the first time her father mentioned the school crocodile. “In 1961, when I went to school, Dad asked me where the crocodile was,” she said after the discovery was made. — And when I was the director, they kept asking me what was wrong with him. So he clearly people remembered it.”

“The Legendary Crocodile”

After the animal was rediscovered, it turned out that its age is much greater than previously assumed. Although during the time spent under the school floor, the crocodile suffered quite a lot, experts managed to find out that he lived back in the XIX century.

A rare crocodile was delivered to a child from China instead of a fish

To rid the reptile of the parasites that lived in it, the remains were frozen. Then the experts checked that there were no dangerous materials or bacteria in them, and then they were thoroughly vacuumed, cleaned and restored.

“The story of this crocodile […] is absolutely incredible,” said local councilwoman Joy Rosser. – The builders could not even think that they would find such a thing under the floor of a school classroom. I am very glad that the restoration is over, and now this legendary crocodile, about which there were many rumors, finally appeared on public display.”

“I am sure that he will be a very valuable acquisition for the school. This is a one-of-a-kind exhibit, a real piece of local history that will now be preserved for future generations of students and teachers,” says Rosser.



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