The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources received information that a reptile, possibly a caiman, was in the Mon River between Fairmont and Rivesville.
DNR officials said people were contacting them about an alligator, although based on descriptions the DNR has received, it was believed to be a caiman, which is a member of the alligator family.
DNR Wildlife Resources learned Friday afternoon that the caiman had been captured and killed by two fisherman Friday morning. Marion County Natural Resources Police Officer Jeremiah Clark said the fisherman planned to eat the reptile’s tail.
It seems we have an epidemic of crocodilians being released in this state.
Just a few weeks ago, an alligator was killed in Southern West Virginia.
I know of a pet store in Marion County that used to sell alligators and caimans, which are not regulated in West Virginia at all. I was shocked to see them available for purchase.
I’m amazed the rivers here in summer aren’t full of these inappropriate pets.
Of course, this caiman would have frozen to death in just a few weeks, so it’s almost a good thing that its tail is now on the menu.
Update: I’ve been informed that this animal is most likely an American alligator, not a caiman. It looks more like an alligator to me, too. However, I was trusting the WVDNR’s judgment here.