An exotic reptile, a caiman that’s usually found in Central and South America, was discovered by a visitor at FDR Park in Philadelphia over the weekend. The Animal Care and Control Team (ACCT) Philly handled the situation with the help of city police.
The caiman, which is in the same family as alligators and crocodiles, was about 3.5 feet long and appeared to be in good condition, according to ACCT Philly’s Sarah Barnett. She also mentioned that the caiman was not starving, which is an indication that it was recently living in a home. Barnett reportedly said, “we don’t know exactly how he ended up in the park, but it’s most likely that someone let him go overnight.”
The ACCT Philly team brought the reptile to their facility where it stayed overnight. The team then contacted the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, which picked up the reptile on Monday and took it to a rehab facility for further care.
The caiman, believed to be about 3 years old, was given the name “Cay man” by the ACCT Philly team. The team posted photos of the caiman on their Facebook page and encouraged people to not release their exotic animals into the wild. They urged individuals who could no longer keep their animals, including caimans, to reach out to them instead of letting them go. According to the post on their Facebook page, “If you have an animal you can no longer keep, including caimans or any other animals that is extremely difficult to humanely house, please reach out to us instead of just letting them go.”
However, the reason behind finding caiman in the park is still ambiguous. Most likely it has escaped from captivity and ended up in the park.