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