September 29, 2009

Man captures caiman with bare hands

A Canadian financial adviser with a can-do attitude waded into a pond and grabbed an alligator-like caiman that had residents of London, Ontario, nervous.

Calls to the police about sightings of either an alligator or crocodile began during the weekend, but animal control officers who responded didn't see anything, the London Free Press reported Tuesday.

Tuesday, John Stephan was walking his small dog when he saw two television news trucks and a small group of people near a pond. He was told there had been another sighting, so he and the dog went around to the south side of the pond because he noticed it was reedy.

He spotted the three-foot caiman sunning itself, approached from behind and grabbed its body and muzzle as the TV crews taped the reptile struggling.

I wasn't going to let go, though, Stephan said. I've got big strong hands and I kept a tight grip on it.

He walked 75 yards to a TV truck and had a reporter tape its jaw shut as animal control officers were en route.

The caiman will be sent to a wildlife refuge elsewhere in the province, as it was likely an illegal pet that grew too big for its owner, officials said.