DPNR Confirms Capture of Three Caimans on St. Thomas

The caiman is a member of the crocodile family.

Commissioner Nominee Jean-Pierre L. Oriol of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources informs the public, especially the St. Thomas community, of recent sightings and the capture of at least three caimans (caiman crocodilus).

Caiman crocodilus is a small reptile that grows up to 8 feet in total length over a period of 15 years and looks similar to crocodiles or alligators. If approached, they can become aggressive despite their diet of small mammals, birds, freshwater fish and reptiles.

In an on-going effort to eradicate the small population of caimans that have appeared in freshwater pools on the eastern end of St. Thomas, the Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) urges the community to report all sightings immediately to 775-6762 (St. Thomas) or 773-1082 (St. Croix).

Due to their propensity to live in subtropical climates, there are no good methods to manage or care for captive caimans in the Virgin Islands. Caimans are not good pets. Owners of captive caimans are requested to call DFW at the aforementioned numbers; there will be no penalties for having a captive caiman at this time if the animal is reported and surrendered to DFW.