Cops make hair-raising discovery in car boot - a young crocodile and 1.9-metre snake

Eastern Cape police officers made a hair-raising discovery during a routine patrol in the early hours of the morning on Friday.

While searching a vehicle in Qashasnek, near King William's Town, the officers found a young crocodile, its mouth and legs taped to prevent it from moving around, inside the boot of a Toyota Corolla.

Next to it was a 1.9-metre red-tailed Boa snake.

"Members recovered a 1.9m Boa snake and a 1.5m Nile crocodile hidden in the vehicle, occupied by three suspects travelling in the vehicle. The sighting of the two live reptiles was the least expected by our members," police spokesperson Captain Khaya Tonjeni said.

Tonjeni added that the officers were conducting patrols as part of the #SafetyFridays campaign at Khoapha Junction. The aim of the campaign is to ensure public safety.

Recovery led to arrests

Tonjeni said the driver of the vehicle, aged 39, and two passengers, aged 27 and 39, were arrested for the alleged illegal possession of reptiles.

It is believed that the occupants were en route to the Eastern Cape from Limpopo.

Tonjeni said the three were expected to appear in the Maluti Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of possession of endangered species.

Suspected stolen vehicle

In a separate incident in the same area, police also recovered a suspected stolen vehicle and arrested a 37-year-old man.

"The vehicle's number plate did not match the disc registration of the vehicle. The suspect was charged [with the] possession of a suspected stolen motor vehicle."

He is also expected to appear in the Maluti Magistrate's Court on Monday.