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Baby of Dwarf Caiman, in a protected reserve.

After a Unclaimed Caiman found its way to Philadelphia’s FDR park, officials said they were trying to find residency for the reptile. After weeks of unsuccessful searching, state game officials decided to euthanize the caiman.

The 5-foot-long creature was found Sunday, March 5, floating in the murky waters of the park. After being discovered, the caiman was temporarily taken care of by ACCT Philly.

Wildlife at FDR Park

Source: Mark Carosiello / Getty

The group knew it would be unable to accommodate the needs of this reptiles as they require a personal space the size of a studio apartment. “These animals don’t know how to adapt to the PA life,” said an ACCT Philly spokesperson

“They will have a hard time catching prey in less than ideal settings so easier prey (small dogs, for example) will become more appealing.”

they handed the Cayman over to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, who then looked toward the state Fish and Boat Commission to take over. However, the Fish and Boat commission did not have any availability to take the caiman at the time.

“Efforts to re-home the caiman were unsuccessful and the animal was later euthanized,” a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission wrote in an email.

Caimans are not native to PA, so it is unclear how the animal got here. Sarah Barnett, Executive Director of ACCT Philly, believed that the reptile was purchased on online and brought to the state. “This is somebody’s pet. Somebody ordered this maybe online,” Barnett said. “It grew to be a lot bigger than they thought it would be, or there are a lot of myths out there, which are if you feed them less they will stay small, which is literally starving an animal.”


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Caiman Found in Philadelphia’s FDR Park Euthanized  was originally published on