3-Foot Caiman Captured In Kentucky Creek

A snake on the ground

The state of Kentucky is often the source of some pretty wild stories.

Whether it be the widespread celebratory burning of couches and cars in the street, a man cleaning snow off his driveway with a flamethrower,  rivers so full of bourbon that it killed all the fish, electing dogs to political offices, or the legendary saga of cocaine bear, none of the crazy stories should really be that surprising anymore.

This is definitely a new one though.

A 3-foot caiman, a species of reptile closely related to alligators and crocodiles was found just chillin’ in Kentucky creek yesterday. Caimans are native to Mexico, Central and South America, which makes it even more puzzling that one was just captured in a creek in suburban Lexington.

According to Lex18 News, Animal Control was dispatched around 3:30 pm yesterday to capture the caiman after it startled a lady by approaching her and her dog while on a walk.

Officers were able to get the caiman out of the water and it’s secure at their facility now. They plan to transfer custody to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife so it can be taken to the Kentucky Reptile Zoo in Slade, which is near Red River Gorge if you want to go see it. You could even make a nice little weekend out of it. Do some hiking or rock climbing, maybe stop by Miguel’s Pizza if there’s time.

The story was first shared by Lexington City Council member Richard Moloney, who understandably mistook the caiman for a gator.

“This alligator was spotted here in Lexington by the stream off of Roland Ave & Eastland Parkway. So if you know anybody with a dog in that area warn them because my friend’s dog almost got bitten by this alligator.”

This alligator was spotted here in Lexington by the stream off of Roland Ave & Eastland Parkway. So if you know…

Posted by Richard Moloney on Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey also mistook the caiman for an alligator, so let’s hope he’s better at forecasting weather patterns than he is identifying reptiles.

“If you had alligators in Lexington on your 2021 bingo card… Congrats!! This 3-foot alligator was just caught in a creek near Eastland Parkway.”

The caiman was likely someone’s pet that grew too large and aggressive to accommodate anymore, causing them to dump it in a nearby waterway. Owning gators, crocs, or caimans as a pet is illegal in the state of Kentucky, and it’s way more illegal to just let them loose in the wild.

Although cold temperatures would have likely killed the solar-powered little reptile at some point, it’s conceivable that the caiman could have very well survived to cause a ruckus in the creek through the summer.

That is unless 40,000 barrels of bourbon were accidentally spilled into the creek again. That would have probably killed the caiman, but similar to cocaine bear, that would have been a hell of a way to go out and probably turned this caiman into a legend of its own.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock