Caiman get me
SILLY season fish stories usually revolve around great white sharks that may or may not have been sighted off the UK coast. This August, however, the national press had a different predator to play with, in a month that is traditionally quiet for news, when a two-foot caiman was spotted on the spillway at Chew Valley. With the water levels lower than usual, an engineer spotted the caiman, some 5,000 miles from its usual home in Central and South America, where the reptile reaches lengths up to 10 feet. A close relative of the alligator, the caiman was eventually netted after the RSPCA was summoned to the North Somerset water, and sent to a crocodile and alligator centre. “It was in good condition but it wouldn’t have survived the winter,” says England angler and Chew regular, John Horsey. “We’ve had turtles and terrapins found here before and I can only assume this has been similarly thrown away by someone who didn’t want it. “When the RSPCA were contacted, the officer said he wouldn’t be best pleased if it was a hoax. Apparently, the last time he was called out to capture a ‘crocodile’, it turned out to be plastic…”
The caiman is usually found in Central or South America – not Chew.