Where were the parents?
BY LARRY MCSHANE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Friday, October 3rd 2008, 10:07 AM
A 7-year-old boy, after scaling the fence at an Australian zoo, served a malevolent menu of more than a dozen animals to its resident crocodile during a gruesome 30-minute rampage, authorities said Friday.
The child provided the 440-pound, 11-foot saltwater carnivore with a variety of live and dead creatures culled from the zoo's attractions - including three lizards that the boy fatally bashed with a rock.
Before the attack ended, 13 animals worth $5,500 were dead. Among the victims was a beloved 20-year-old Goanna lizard, killed and tossed to the crocodile known as "Terry."
The boy's blank expression, caught on a zoo security camera, never changed as he tossed the animals over two fences into the crocodile's zoo habitat, officials said.
SEE: NEW YORK CROCODILE RETIRES TO MIAMI
"It's like he was playing a game," stunned zoo director Rex Neindorf said of the suspect.
At one point, the boy climbed over the first fence to get closer to the deadly reptile, authorities said. A turtle, bearded dragons and thorny devil lizards were also fed to the crocodile.
The child's diminutive size allowed him to slip past the zoo's security system, which uses sensors to detect intruders, Neindorf said.
"We're horrified that anyone can do this, and saddened by the age of the child," said zoo director Rex Neindorf.
Because of his age, officials said they cannot charge the youth in the carnage inside the Alice Springs Reptile Center in central Australia. The youth's identity was not released.
With News Wire Services