Caiman caught in Lexington

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 4:29 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - While taking her dog for a walk Wednesday afternoon, a Lexington woman made a shocking discovery—a caiman. It’s a relative to alligators that originates from South America, but this one was in a creek near Eastland Park.

“We were taking a walk down the street here, we always do every day, he always goes down to the creek to swim so we were down there and all of a sudden he just shot up out of the water,” said Hannah Haggard.

Of all the critters Haggard thought might have scared her dog, Chesney, this was the last one she expected to see.

“I pulled him back and made sure that he didn’t have any bite marks or anything like that on him and he seemed like he was okay. I called my husband immediately and I was like babe there is an alligator in the creek,” Haggard said.

Her next call was to Lexington-Fayette County Animal Care and Control. Community Enforcement Officer Aaron Evans was the dispatcher to take the call. She said in her eight years of experience it’s not the first alligator report she’s gotten, but it is the closest thing to an alligator they’ve actually found.

“We get reports of alligators and when we arrive it’s either nothing or a large lizard so when he radioed back in and said he did in fact catch an alligator or caiman, I was pretty shocked,” Evans said.

The caiman is a relative of alligators, this one is three feet long, and is now locked in its own suite at animal control. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will pick it up Thursday to take it to the Kentucky Reptile Zoo in Slade.

Even though it’s captured Haggard says it still makes her think twice about continuing her daily walks.

“I think I might reroute myself on my walks,” Haggard said.

Officer Evans says it was likely an illegal pet that got too big for the owner and was let loose. She asks that anyone with information about where the reptile came from should call animal control.

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