April 28, 2014
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), is again appealing to the public to make every effort to avoid crocodile nesting areas, which are typically located in wetlands. NEPA has been receiving reports of crocodiles being harassed or captured and their hatchlings removed.
The species found in Jamaica is the American Crocodile and is typically docile, but can become extremely aggressive during the breeding season (February - August) when persons venture close to their nesting sites. Crocodile sightings can occur in residential areas which are close to their natural habitat.
Crocodiles are protected under the Wild Life Protection Act; IT IS ILLEGAL TO CATCH, OR KILL THEM. It is also an offence to have a crocodile or any part of the animal in one’s possession. Anyone found guilty of these offences are liable to a fine of up to $100,000 or twelve (12) months imprisonment.
NEPA is also advising members of the public to cooperate with NEPA officers when they visit areas to investigate crocodile sightings. The public may call NEPA at 1-888-991-5005 or 754-7540 if crocodiles are seen in areas outside of their natural habitat where they may pose a threat to human activities or if they are being harassed or harmed. Reports may also be made to119 or the nearest police station.