June 5, 2011
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is advising the public to exercise extreme caution in areas close to swamps, wetlands and gullies as crocodiles are likely to be displaced from their natural habitats during this period of heavy rains. Persons are also advised to avoid bathing in or near rivers and canals as crocodiles are likely to move with flood waters and may be found in these areas.
Areas which may be affected include Portmore, St Catherine, South Clarendon and wetland areas in St Thomas and St Elizabeth.
The Agency is appealing to members of the public not to provoke crocodiles. These are sensitive animals which may react dangerously if cornered and attacked. Crocodiles are one of Jamaica’s many endangered animal species and are protected by law. Capturing or killing the animal is an offence under the Wild Life Protection Act. Persons found guilty of this offence are liable to a fine of up to $100,000 or twelve (12) months imprisonment.
The Public is also being advised that there is no payment for the apprehension or recovery of a crocodile. If crocodiles are seen in areas where they may pose threats to human activities, kindly call NEPA at 754-7540 or 1-888-991-5005. You may also call 119 or the nearest police station.