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Statue of runaway crocodile put up in Azov Sea city

DONETSK, April 14 (RIA Novosti) - A statue of a crocodile which ran away from its tamer during a show on the Azov Sea beach and lived for several months on the loose has been erected at the Ukrainian sea port of Mariupol.

The beach emptied when the one-year-old Nile crocodile, Godzilla, cut his performance short last May and headed for the sea. Authorities issued warnings against swimming in the sea, and rescue teams were put on round-the-clock alert, instructed to patrol the shoreline.

Godzi was caught in November near a thermal power plant in Mariupol and brought to the east Ukrainian city of Donetsk. However, the crocodile died before it was to be picked up by his tamer. No complaints of crocodile attacks or related injuries were reported during the period.

The small bronze statue of the reptile was ordered by a local cafe owner and put in front of the building. Its basement bears an inscription: "To Godzik of Mariupol."

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