Claxton Bay man fights off caiman

A Clax­ton Bay res­i­dent is thank­ing his lucky stars that his pet dog Gar­roth was not de­voured by a caiman which crawled in­to his yard ear­ly yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Af­ter be­ing alert­ed by his moth­er-in-law, Nazir Mo­hammed used a piece of wood to ward off the men­ac­ing caiman which was just three feet away from his mixed-breed dog.

Re­count­ing the in­ci­dent, Mo­hammed said short­ly be­fore 7 am he was awak­ened by his moth­er-in-law knock­ing on the front door of his Ram­sa­roop Trace, Macaulay Vil­lage, home.

“I came out­side and saw the dog bark­ing at the caiman. The caiman was just about three or four feet away from. I take a piece of wood and push it down in the cor­ner and the neigh­bour next door came cross and as­sist­ed me in ty­ing it up," he said.

He be­lieves the caiman might have eat­en his pet had he not in­ter­vened when he did.

“It was hiss­ing and snap­ping. It was try­ing to bite the dog. It is a lucky es­cape for Gar­roth,” he said.

Mo­hammed said he of­ten sees caimans in the canal near his home but that was the first time that one crawled in­to his yard. He said he be­lieves the caiman was search­ing for food or wa­ter.

He called the St Mar­garet's s Po­lice Sta­tion and the po­lice con­tact­ed game war­den Steve Seep­er­sad who went to Mo­hammed house ac­com­pa­nied by wildlife bi­ol­o­gist Ro­mano Mac­far­lane. They cap­tured the rep­tile and will be re­leas­ing it in­to the wild, some­where away from hu­mans, they said.

Be­cause of its en­larged bel­ly, Seep­er­sad be­lieves the male caiman may have eat­en a small an­i­mal.

“The man said he heard the neigh­bour pup­py cry­ing and he not see­ing it any­where,” he said.

Seep­er­sad said since the on­set of the dry sea­son he has re­ceived about nine re­ports of snakes and caimans sight­ings in and around peo­ple’s prop­er­ties. He ex­plained that the rep­tiles are ven­tur­ing out of their habi­tats in search of wa­ter and food due to the bush fires and low wa­ter­ways. He com­mend­ed Mo­hammed for con­tact­ing the au­thor­i­ties.

“The caiman is ac­tu­al­ly a game species that can be hunt­ed when the sea­son is open but the hunt­ing sea­son isn’t open. If they killed it, it would have been il­le­gal be­cause as of the April 1 the sea­son is closed and it is il­le­gal to hunt any game an­i­mals,” he said.

The of­fence car­ries a penal­ty of $10,000.

Seep­er­sad al­so cau­tioned cit­i­zens against try­ing to cap­ture the an­i­mals them­selves. He said they should to ei­ther call the po­lice or the Forestry Di­vi­sion, San Fer­nan­do, at 225-3774. or the Wildlife Sec­tion in St Joseph at 662-5114.

 - By Radhica De Silva. Photo by Kristian De Silva

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