Monday 28 September, 2020

Avoid crocodile habitats during heavy rainfall, NEPA warns

Jamaican crocodiles (Photo: NEPA)

Jamaican crocodiles (Photo: NEPA)

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is advising members of the public to exercise extreme caution in areas close to swamps, rivers, gullies and other known crocodile habitats, as the animals are likely to be displaced during heavy rains affecting the island.

In a news release on Friday, the environment and planning agency also urged the public to report crocodile sightings by calling NEPA at 876-754-7540 or toll-free 888-991-5005. Individuals may also call 119 or make a report to the nearest police station.

"The public is being reminded not to provoke crocodiles, as these sensitive creatures may become defensive if cornered or attacked. Crocodiles are one of Jamaica’s many endangered animal species and are protected under law," NEPA said, noting that it is an offence under the Wild Life Protection Act to possess, hunt, kill capture or willfully molest the crocodile.

Individuals found guilty of the offence may be charged a maximum fine of $100,000 or face one year imprisonment.

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