Two-foot caiman found in Somerset reservoir

It's thought the reptile was kept illegally and dumped


Two-foot caiman found in Somerset reservoir

A two-foot caiman has been found in a lake in Somerset.

The reptile, a member of the crocodile family, was discovered in the Chew Valley Reservoir on Friday 4 August.

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The caiman was taken to a specialist vet, and the RSPCA are now seeking information about who may have dumped the animal.

Animal Collection Officer, Chris James, says the situation could have been dangerous if the caiman had been found by a child.

According to ITV News, he said: "It's lucky this caiman wasn't found by a child. Despite its size, this caiman could have given them a very nasty bite.

"That's why the law says that these kinds of animals can only be kept if a special licence has been obtained from the local authority.

"It appears no such licence has been issued for this particular animal, so we suspect it was being kept illegally."

In addition to breaching the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, Mr James said two other laws had potentially been breached, including the Animal Welfare Act, which requires that an animal's needs must be met by the keeper, and the Wildlife and Countryside Act, which prohibits the release on any non-native wild animal.

The BBC reports that he added that he believes these animals should not be kept as pets, explaining: "The animal may grow very large, live for a long time, become aggressive and can be dangerous."

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