File picture by Desmond Boyla

Colombo, Sri Lanka - A crocodile which broke into a Sri Lankan police station and stayed the night forced constables to abandon their posts until it was captured by wildlife authorities, officers said on Tuesday.

Police said the two-metre crocodile barged in through a back door of the crime branch at Nochchiyagama station, 190 kilometres (118 miles) north of Colombo.

"Police men and women evacuated the building when the crocodile crashed in. It stayed put till this morning when wildlife officials showed up and took it away," a police official told AFP. "It did not hurt anyone."

Another official said locals were accustomed to frequent elephant attacks on villages in the remote area, but a invasive crocodile was a rarity.