Avoid crocodile habitats during heavy rains - NEPA
With heavy rainfall expected with the passage of Tropical Depression Isaac over the weekend, the National Environment and Planning Agency is advising the public to exercise extreme caution in areas close to swamps, rivers, gullies and other known crocodile habitats.
According to NEPA, the animals are likely to be displaced during the heavy rains.
NEPA is urging the public to report crocodile sightings by calling the Agency 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 also 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. It is an offence under the Wild Life Protection Act (WLPA) 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.
A man was killed by a crocodile while fishing in the Hellshire Pond area of Portmore, St Catherine last month.
The victim, 67-year-old Wilford Edmondson was among a group of friends when the crocodile attacked. The reptile took the senior citizen into the mangrove and inflicted wounds to his head.