TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After a farmer in Puli Township, Nantou County, reported seeing a caiman in his water bamboo paddy, the local fire department contacted a reptile rescue team to help capture the animal.
On Friday (March 4), a Facebook user named Hsiao Ta-hsiung (蕭大雄) shared a photo of a caiman, saying his mother had seen the animal resting at a water bamboo farm. The Liberty Times reported that a farmer surnamed Huang (黃) had discovered the caiman on his farm a few days ago and reported the incident to the local fire department.
Huang told the Liberty Times that he had originally mistaken the caiman as a lizard, as it was small. Though he was shocked to find out later that it was a caiman, he said the reptile was not aggressive and “behaved well” by staying in the same spot, speculating that it may be an abandoned pet.
As local firefighters have no training on handling such reptiles, the fire department contacted the “Reptilian Animal Rescue and Hospitalization” Facebook page, which sent members with experience to help capture the animal. ETToday reported that though Huang insisted there was only one very small caiman in the paddy, rescuers said there were in fact two spectacled caimans, measuring between 100-150 centimeters in length.
As of Saturday morning (March 5) at 9:40 a.m., rescuers had yet to find the caimans, according to the “Reptilian Animal Rescue and Hospitalization” Facebook page. It reported that as the paddy was filled with knee-deep water and over 2 meters lower than surrounding roads, the caimans are unlikely to climb out and roam around.
The page opted not to publicly disclose details of the location and urged members of the public who know of the farm not to visit. It also called for pet owners not to abandon animals that are not native to Taiwan and to contact government entities or animal groups instead.
Animal rescuers worked overnight to find caimans. (Facebook, Reptilian Animal Rescue and Hospitalization photo)