They say seeing is believing, but we've all fallen victim to our eyes playing tricks on us. Residents in Poland this week were reportedly locking their windows in fear of a strange, unidentified animal that was lurking in the trees near their homes. Animal control responded to try and contain the mysterious beast but was surprised to find the offending animal was actually a croissant stuck in a tree.
The surprisingly dramatic true story reads something like an April Fool’s prank, but a Facebook post from the animal control non-profit The Krakow Animal Welfare Society states the caller was in no mood for jokes. The concerned citizen, in the city of Krakow, Poland, was growing increasingly anxious about the potential threat of a strange, unidentified animal that had been sitting in a tree outside their home for several days.
It was reported to be a brown and possibly reptilian, with the caller suggesting it could perhaps be some kind of iguana. While iguanas aren’t native in Poland, the animal welfare team thought it might be an escaped or abandoned pet (a runaway baby coral snake caused a similar kerfuffle in Germany).
Concerned for the misshapen brown animal, whatever it was, the team attended the scene and tried to track down the mystery tree beast, all the while suspecting it might still turn out to be a late April Fool’s joke. They went on the lookout for a frozen iguana (who do sometimes fall from trees) or another dazed critter on the estate, but they couldn’t find anything. Undeterred, they went to see the woman who made the distress call to get more information as to its whereabouts. Finally, they arrived at the tree in question, where it became clear the animal wasn’t an iguana. It wasn't a giant chrysalis from the Cretaceous or a small, flaky, arboreal primate, but a French pastry stuck in a tree.
Unable to revive the very much inanimate croissant, the responders understandably fell out laughing at the comical conclusion to their wild goose chase. On Facebook, they suggest the pastry was probably thrown out for the birds or somehow fell out of a window. In defense of the caller, a vertical position is an uncommon posture for a croissant and if you screw up your eyes a bit it does look a little bit like a dried up reptile (or, for the Great British Bake Off fans among you, a snail under a mushroom).
The discovery of the baked iguana (mistakenly called a Lagoon by the caller, when they forgot the Polish word "legwn" for iguana) has even inspired its own fan art by Rynn Rysuje which was shared to the Krakow Animal Welfare Society's Facebook page. "Sometimes it happens, especially during the April frosts, that this nice animal will succumb to ′′ just five more minutes..."," reads the Facebook translation. "He then uses his fat tail to safely stabilize himself in a tree fork, and take a nap."
Undeterred by their unexpected afternoon, the Krakow Animal Welfare Society highlighted that it’s better to inquire after the health of an unidentified animal if you’re unsure of its origin, be that an over or otherwise. “If you want to support our interventions,” they wrote, “even those saving croissants, donate your 1 % to KRS (KRS No. 0000044704).”