A crocodile that strayed into Cayman waters and was shot with a spear gun by a member of the public is reportedly doing well with its recovery at Boatswain’s Beach.
The 7.5- to eight-foot crocodile was captured in Old Man Bay on Saturday following many calls from the public to the 911 Emergency Communications Centre reporting a sighting of a crocodile.
And the RCIPS has stated that rumours that there were three crocodiles in local waters and the police had killed one of them, are untrue.
‘There were unconfirmed reports of a second crocodile,’ said Media Liaison Officer Deborah Dennis, but officers have been out to look for it and have seen no signs of any other crocodile. An aerial search of the sea using Cayman Islands Helicopter was carried out Sunday.
Ms Dennis did add, however, that it can’t be 100 per cent certain that there is not another crocodile out there.
During the attempt to capture the crocodile on Saturday a member of the public shot his spear-gun at the crocodile and hit the creature.
Ms Dennis said this had not been authorised. However, she added that police had already decided at that point there could be a need to destroy the creature, as they feared it was a danger to the public.
The Department of Environment has stated that the Police Marine Unit was responsible for the capture of the crocodile and that DoE’s officers were not involved in the chase.
The croc is in the care of veterinarians under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture, but is being housed at Boatswain’s Beach.
They are 90 per cent sure, said Curator of Terrestrial Exhibits at Boatswain’s Beach Geddes Hislop, that the fully mature crocodile is female.
She is recovering well from her wound and is eating chicken and fish.
The crocodile is in a dry tank to allow for her wound to heal.
It is unclear, as yet, what the future will hold for the crocodile once it recovers.
Department of Agriculture spokesperson Brian Crichlow said it is too early to say as they are awaiting more information on the reptile.
Mr. Hislop said as far as he knew, the last report of a live crocodile in Cayman was in 1959.
The most recent find is an American Crocodile, Mr. Hislop said. This type is not known for attacks on humans and they generally do not attack unless provoked. A Cuban crocodile would be much more aggressive, he said.
The crocodile, he said, would have swum from Cuba, Hispaniola or Jamaica.
Blood samples were taken from her and results of analysis will show more information on where the reptile may have come from.
The crocodile is in a private area of Boatswain’s Beach where she cannot be viewed by the public.
Mr. Hislop said it was a good thing the crocodile was taken from the water as someone would have killed it otherwise.
‘It worked out for the best,’ he said. ‘It is alive and well and recovering,’ he said.