AN ANIMAL welfare charity was briefly tasked with rescuing a baby alligator before quickly realising that the stricken reptile was in fact a toy.

A report was received by the RSPCA Cymru after Rhyl resident Clare Kelly was tricked into believing a baby alligator had been found in a bush, before being placed in the bath of their home on Tuesday, June 30.

However, it was actually a toy alligator - with the incident a prank by her family.

Suspicions were immediately arisen in RSPCA inspector Andrew Broadbent, who asked the panicked caller to double-check the validity of her family member's claims.

RSPCA inspector Andrew Broadbent said: "As soon as this call came in, it seemed highly unlikely to be true.

Rhyl Journal:

The plastic alligator

"It's important to never rule anything out in the animal welfare world - but there aren't too many alligators lurking in the bushes in Rhyl.

"The poor caller had been tricked by family members, who had put a toy alligator in the bath and pretended they collected it from nearby bushes. She was only trying to help - and was very apologetic.

"Our chat certainly offered a bit of light relief at a difficult time for everybody at the moment, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We do sometimes get calls where people mistake toys or other objects for animals - and my colleagues have previously rushed to the aid of a rubber scorpion, a cuddly dog stuck on a roof, or a squirrel mistaken for a cat up a tree. But this was certainly a new one on me.”

Clare Kelly, 25, who sounded the alarm to the RSPCA, said: "My brother went out and told me he'd found this baby alligator in a bush in Rhyl. My mother was in on the prank too.

"They were so convincing, that I genuinely thought it was real and was planning on how to look after him.

"I was ready to help the alligator - and we'd even discussed getting some meat from the butchers to feed him, and how I'd keep my hamster safe who lives with us.

"They didn't realise I was going to phone the RSPCA. It wasn't until I told my family I'd called that they burst out laughing - and I had to then tell the RSPCA this alligator was actually made of plastic."