Caiman captured in Lexington finds part time residence at Kentucky Reptile Zoo

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We’ve focused on horses for most of this week, but another animal made headlines in Kentucky.

A caiman was pulled from a creek near Eastland Park in Lexington on Wednesday. It has now made a new home at the Kentucky Reptile Zoo in Slade.

“Initially I was just really impressed with animals control that they were able to successfully capture it and nobody got hurt. I just thought that they did a great job,” said Kristen Wiley, co-director of the Kentucky Reptile Zoo.

Traditionally found in northern South America, the caiman is far away from its original home. A caiman is often confused with an alligator at first glance, but there are noticeable differences, despite acting similar.

“Actually, this particular kind is a dwarf caiman. They are kind of easy to tell because they have real spiky scales and their head shape is quite a bit different than an alligator,” said Wiley. “Caimans in general especially these species are not known for their quiet disposition. These guys tend to get nervous and be flighty animals and that seems to be the way this one is acting.”

This caiman was likely someone’s pet that they couldn’t take care of, and was dumped it into the creek.

“You would half to have to meet its needs: a very warm place with a large body of water it can swim in, proper temperature regulation and have a big part of your home dedicated to it, and also not be against the law,” said Wiley.

This caiman will stay at the facility before being transferred to South Carolina to a bigger facility.

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