CANBERRA, April 28 (Xinhua) -- A gigantic, four-meter-long saltwater crocodile, which is kept as a pet by an Australian in Darwin, has survived a house fire which gutted its owner's house.
The crocodile named Albert, believed to be up to 70-year-old, was found unscathed at the back of the property in a custom built pen, after firefighters completed a walk through the property after dousing the flames.
Albert's owner Helen Haritos was not home at the time of the fire, and was unable to alert emergency crews that a giant reptile lived at the property.
Northern Territory firefighter Bill Gleeson said the presence of the croc came as a surprise to his crew, describing it as a "first" in his career.
"We quickly brought the fire under control (and were then) informed there was a large saltwater crocodile at the rear of the yard, which was a first for me. It did not affect the operations," Gleeson told the NT News on Friday.
"Albert is well contained and completely unaffected by fire. He seemed quite happy to look at me as I was checking the premises."
Parks and Wildlife NT chief wildlife ranger Tom Nichols assessed the well-being of the crocodile following the fire, and said Albert was in a "pretty good condition" considering the disaster.
Owner Helen Haritos has lived in the region for more than 40 years, and came into possession of the crocodile, which is licensed, after her father, croc hunter George Haritos, caught Albert in the nearby Mary River in 1958.