Plenty of crocodile tears were shed today following the loss of a brightly colored beach ball by Charlie the Croc - the mascot of Aussie football team the Queensland Bastards.
The cold-blooded critter showed he's got a warm heart after joining in a beach game with some local youths. But a gust of wind put paid to their glee and the friendly man-eater's ball was blown out to sea.
"Unless the tide turns, it looks like that ball aint coming back no time soon", said a muscular, tanned lifeguard, "just like the time little Jimmy got washed out to sea. Poor kid was never seen again. But sometimes I hear his cries…"
Charlie the Croc was inconsolable and flew into a rage, biting one unlucky bystander and swallowing her poodle.
But caring locals have set up a fund to raise donations to purchase a replacement for Charlie.
"I know he'd do the same for me if it was the other way round", said one kindly elderly lady.