Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Jamaica warns against crocodile hunting


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KINGSTON, Jamaica – The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is warning persons against hunting crocodiles that have been blamed for killing domestic animals.
The NEPA said that the crocodiles may have been displaced from the natural habitats as a result of the heavy rains the island has been experiencing over the past few weeks and it is also warning people to “avoid bathing in or near rivers and canals as crocodiles are likely to move with flood waters”.
NEPA said it had been receiving reports that people were “catching and restraining the crocodiles” and that this is a “dangerous practice” and that they should “allow the NEPA officers who are trained to handle the animals to conduct activities unhindered”.
The agency said it would be deploying teams over the weekend to conduct further assessments and devise a strategy for possibly removing the animals.
“In the meantime, NEPA is encouraging members of the public to exercise extreme caution in areas close to swamps, wetlands and gullies as crocodiles are likely to be displaced from their natural habitats during this period of heavy rains.”
NEPA said it is also warning persons not to provoke the crocodiles since they are “sensitive animals which may react dangerously if cornered and attacked.
“Crocodiles are one of Jamaica’s many endangered animal species and are protected by law. Capturing or killing the animal is an offence under the Wild Life Protection Act. Persons found guilty of this offence are liable to a fine of up to $100,000 (US$1, 183) or 12 months imprisonment”. (CMC)


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