Caiman in Toronto park shows need for greater humane education

As though taking a page out of Lake Placid, the City of Toronto has successfully captured a caiman in High Park.

The cousin of an alligator, a caiman is a small reptile that some people ill-advisedly keep as a pet. They are native to South and Central America and grow from 1 metre long to 4 metres long, depending on the subspecies.

Toronto Animal Control and police were informed of the caiman after a YouTube video was picked up by mainstream media. After approximately one hour of work, the reptile was successfully captured without injuries.

It is unknown at this point if this was a pet or perhaps member of a zoo that was released or escaped into the popular pond. Regardless, it is illegal for a resident to own one in the city. And herein lays the problem: by-laws only work when coupled with education.

Humane education is not a subject many municipalities consider; typically, it falls to humane societies or non-profits like APFA to provide such educational programs. With your help, we can keep the message of humane education and wildlife respect on the radar of Canadians everywhere.

Photo YouTube screen capture

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