The stolen rare crocodile skull that could land thieves in jail for seven years

The crocodile died naturally at a zoo Credit: Staffordshire Police

A rare crocodile skull has been stolen from a business in Cannock - and the thieves have been warned they could face seven years in prison if they try to sell the artefact.

The Tomistoma crocodile skull was being professionally prepared at the business when it was taken between Thursday, March 23, and Tuesday, March 28.The 60cm skull was being prepped so that it could be used for educational purposes.

Police are now warning that anyone who tries to sell the skull without a permit could face with seven years in prison.

The crocodile died naturally at a zoo.

A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: "The skull would require an Article 10 licence under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (C.I.T.E.S) in order to be sold.

"If sold without a permit, those responsible could be sentenced to up to 7 years in prison and receive an unlimited fine."The animal had been part of a successful UK breeding programme and its skull would have been beneficial to future research of the species, which is at risk of extinction."Anyone with any information is asked to contact police or call 101."