A three-foot crocodile was netted in Prospect Park near the Harbour House Marina by Fisherman Chris Briggs on Sunday, 27 September.
Members of the Department of Environment and Royal Cayman Islands Police, who responded to the scene, were met by a crowd of spectators queuing up to catch a glimpse of the catch, initially spotted at the end of the Marina Drive canal.
Subsequent examination of the animal revealed that it was the same creature that was captured in January of this year in a shallow canal that connects Vulgunner’s Pond in West Bay with the North Sound.
According to officials at the DOE, the croc was then released in an unpopulated area; well removed from people.
However, the animal found its way back into contact with humans and will have to once again be relocated to a suitable habitat. Its relocation will be in accordance with the American Crocodile-Human Interaction Response Plan of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Prior to being released in January 2009, the crocodile was temporarily held in captivity while the DOE consulted with experts in the US and elsewhere. It was established that the reptile was an American Crocodile.
This particular crocodile is found in Cuba, Jamaica and Florida and its range includes the Cayman Islands.
Crocodiles are a natural part of Cayman’s fauna and experience in other countries has shown that these particular crocs are normally shy and reclusive. Officials say if they are not bothered by people, they are not normally problematic.
It is not recommended that people try to catch or otherwise handle these creatures.
DOE officials added that, ‘Given the details of the recently reported crocodile sightings along Seven Mile Beach, it does not appear that this animal was the source of those reports.’
Residents in the Marina Drive area of Prospect Park said they were shocked to learn the creature was found in their neighbourhood but said they were not overly concerned, as the incident was isolated.