Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Important - Croc identified? Part I

Steve Jenkins ... croc spotter

Steve Jenkins ... croc spotter

At around 7 pm I talked to Steve Jenkins at the Lake. What he told me further convinced me we are dealing with a member of the Crocodile family. I now know exactly where he stood and from where he saw the animal at that distance of roughly 3-4 m he could not have been mistaken especially as he is a fisherman and he noted the animals legs. The water was calm and the day was clear and fairly sunny.

From his description and what he thinks after showing him Croc photos it seems likely what he saw was a Spectacled Caiman . He described what seemed to be the characteristic bony ridge between its eyes. As that is a popular species for pets that makes sense. The main other possibility is perhaps an American alligator. I think he saw something like this:

From Hungry Hyaena website - "One of the adult spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) disturbed by my wading in pousada bahia (Pousada Ararauna, Pantanal, Brasil)"

You can see where he was roughly from the map above. The blue man was his first location and the green man is Steve's finally location as is the fish is the croc. The war level today is much higher than on the satellite photo.

I also talked to Jon Downes, the Director, at the CFZ. He feels that the chances of a Croc surviving for any length of time are bleak in April. CFZ has been on a number of UK croc hunts in the last few years. He also filled me in on further on the illegal trade in crocs and other exotics. Alligators are easy to buy in Florida and were easy to smuggle back in hand luggage. It is tougher since 9/11 but perhaps in South America where Caimans come from security is not so tight. There is certainly an underground trade in place inside the UK. Furthermore he told me about 3 crocodile bodies that have been found in British waterways and ponds in recent times.

The Sun, and Swansea Evening Post are doing more on this story today.

More updates to come keep watching this blog. Please come forward if you seen anything.

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