BRIGHTON – There are about 170 cats and 103 dogs currently housed inside the Adams County Animal Shelter, but in the tiniest room, lurking in the shallow water of a tank, is the one and only member of the crocodilian family to call the shelter home.
The dwarf caiman dropped off Wednesday by Thornton Animal Control is the strangest creature operations manager Angel Williams recalls seeing at the shelter.
“I gotta say probably this dwarf caiman,” Williams said with a smile.
On Tuesday night, Thornton Police said officers found the caiman near the Avena Apartments at 1882 East 104th Avenue. Police tweeted a video showing a couple officers carefully using a snare to force the small and feisty caiman into a storage bin. No one has come forward claiming the caiman as a pet, and Williams suggested that was a good thing.
“These guys can get pretty big – four to five feet,” Williams said. “They are very fast, they do eat meat and someone could lose a finger.”
Thankfully, no fingers have been lost at the Adams County Animal Shelter. Williams said the caiman has been fairly calm since it was dropped off.
“I think he’s pretty comfortable,” Williams said. “I mean he’d be more comfortable in the wild, but I think he’s pretty comfortable.”
While the caiman may be calm and comfortable, Williams said the reptile is not up for adoption, and won’t be housed at the shelter for much longer.
“Even though they’re the smallest crocodilian species, they’re still very dangerous,” she said.
The next, and likely final stop for the dwarf caiman will be the Colorado Gators Reptile Park in Mosca, Colorado.
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