Friday, November 24, 2017

Yikes! - Caiman in a swimming pool


WILDLIFE displaced by the floods and heavy rainfall over the past week are turning up in every corner of the country.

Even in swimming pools.

Last week a caiman was found in a backyard pool in Bamboo No.2 Village.

Farisha Mahadeo told the Express that she and her husband, Gobin Mahadeo, had just returned home from the gym at around 8 a.m. when he went onto the pool deck and found their four feet long reptile 'friend'.

“We found our little friend on October 9. She took a look at him and he heard a splash”, Farisha Mahadeo said. “She was swimming around. She was hissing and grunting. “

She said they contacted the Reptile Conservation Centre (RCC) and they responded quickly.

“A lot of others would have thought 'Let's kill it and cook it. But I felt sorry for her”, she said. "They had to chase her around the pool but they got her eventually and taped her snout. They said she was probably injured and trying to get away. We felt we did the right thing because she was saved. It could have ended differently had it happened somewhere else.”

The RCC said the caiman was to be released in Caparo.

On Sunday the group Wildlife and Environmental Protection of T&T (WEPTT) appealed to people in flood ravaged areas of the country not to kill the wildlife that are entering properties in search of dry land.

People are being encouraged to call WEPTT instead.

In a statement on Sunday the organisation said it should be expected to see many displaced animals, especially snakes, caimans, large birds and even sightings of river otters and capybaras.

“Please understand that these animals mean no harm, and they certainly do not intend on staying. Like many of us, their intention is to survive. They do not want to be there as much as we do not want them to be. They will leave on their own”, WEPPT stated.

Herpetologist Saiyaad Ali of the Serpentarium of Trinidad and Tobago said that since the flood waters are subsiding the wildlife remain in different localities.

“They are trapped in garages and on people's property. So It is likely to continue to happen because we are going to be having more rain again later this week”, said Ali.

“Be very observant and don't play heroes to capture the animals. The larger the animal the more severe the bite can be”, he advised.

And on Sunday, the RCC captured two baby caimans some ten feet away from the backdoor of a house in Cunupia.

They were seen in a marsh area behind a house in a residential area.

There were three adult caiman and maybe 20 babies but they dispersed and hid before the RCC members arrived.

RCC member Drew Howell said that the area where the caiman family was waterlogged with thick shrubbery.

Howell said the group members would return tonight with the hope of capturing the mother and the other baby caimans.

And on Monday, Ali and members of the Serpentarium captured a six feet long tigre snake at Granville.

It was sitting on a chain-link fence. It would be relocated to Icacos, Ali said.