Aripo anaconda to be left alone

Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat said yesterday a decision has been made not to interfere with the 12-foot anaconda that was sighted at the Aripo Livestock Station in Aripo. Rambharat said that no livestock at the Aripo farms was under threat and added that “it is normal to have snakes in ponds at the Ministry’s facilities.”

He however, admitted though that in this case the size of the anaconda was “larger than what they usually see.”

The snake was sighted at the farm on Monday trying to swallow a seven-foot caiman by a staff member at the Ministry of Agriculture facility.Herpetologists from the University of the West Indies were called in to track the snake after one of the workers at the facility prodded the snake until it released its intended meal and disappeared under the water.

President of the T&T Zoological Society Gupte Lutchmedial said on Tuesday that battles between two of the country’s largest amphibious predators were common.

“Small caimans are a normal part of an anaconda’s diet, the anaconda will apply constriction to kill the caiman, however, it will take a very large anaconda to swallow this size of caiman. Caimans will eat snakes if the opportunity presents itself,” Lutchmedial said.

Kristopher Rattansingh, of Wildlife and Environmental Protection of T&T, said that anacondas were often killed by people due to their formidable size and unfortunate reputation. If seen, members of the public should avoid contact and call in experts, to remove the non-venomous reptile. Members of the public who wish to contact Wildlife and Environmental Protection of T&T for the removal of wildlife from populated areas can reach them at 341-9983, 748-7100, 497-3373 or 748-3936.

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