Wildlife veterinarian Ben Gonzales (left) removes the duct tape from the crocodile's muzzle with the help of Tom Batter (right) in Rancho Cordova, California. Picture: Steve Torres, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Roseville, California -

Don't shed any tears for a crocodile that was captured wandering outside a pet store at a Northern California shopping mall.

California Fish and Wildlife officials have taken custody of the crocodile, are feeding it rainbow trout and will likely donate it to a zoo.

Police say the crocodile was apparently left outside the Roseville store by someone who didn't want it anymore.

The animal had grown to 1.2m in length, and its jaws had been wrapped shut with heavy-duty tape.

There was a note identifying it as a Nile crocodile and requesting someone “call rescue”.

Police say no one was hurt on Wednesday when the animal was picked up with the help of a catch pole typically used to nab stray dogs. - Sapa-AP