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Crocodile Recaptured

This is the crocodile that was captured and relocated. Photo from DoE.

Department of Environment staff relocated a crocodile for the second time, after it was captured on Sunday, 27 September.

Spotted on the marl boat ramp at the end of the Marina Drive canal in Prospect, the crocodile immediately fled into the water, but a considerable number of people gathered to observe and photograph the animal.

The animal was captured and subsequent checks of the animal revealed that it was the same one that had been captured in January this year in a shallow canal that connects Vulgunner's Pond in West Bay with the North Sound.

Back then DoE staff also caught the crocodile and released it in an unpopulated area well removed from people.

The crocodile again found its way into the presence of humans, and DoE staff had to, once more, relocate the animal to more suitable habitat. The crocodile was relocated using the American Crocodile-Human Interaction Response Plan of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a guide.

Prior to its initial release in January 2009 the crocodile was temporarily held in captivity while the DoE consulted with crocodile experts in the US and elsewhere. The animal was then identified as an American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus).

This crocodile boasts large populations in Cuba, Jamaica and Florida and its range includes the Cayman Islands.

Crocodiles are a natural if unusual part of Cayman's fauna. Experience in other countries has shown that American crocodiles are normally shy and reclusive and if not bothered by people will normally not cause a problem. Most reported injuries from this species of crocodile occur when people try to capture or otherwise handle them, so it is clearly not recommended to approach any crocodile you may be fortunate enough to see.

DoE officials have said that given the details of the recent reported crocodile sightings along Seven Mile Beach it does not appear that this released animal was the source of those reports.

If anyone wishes to report a sighting of a crocodile or other large marine creature in the Cayman Islands the DoE is happy to receive such reports (DoE@gov.ky, 949-8469) and add them to our large marine creatures' database, including any pictures which could be used to identify the animal.