An escaped caiman was found in a West Texas mobile home park

2022-06-15 11:22:21 By : Ms. Susan Feng

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A non-native caiman was captured in a Midland mobile home park last week.

A non-native caiman was captured in a Midland mobile home park last week.

The Midland County Sheriff's Office originally believed there was an alligator underneath a car at the Airline Mobile Home and RV Park in Midland last week, but it turned out to be a caiman, which shares the same family of classification as the alligator. 

Often mistaken for alligators, caimans typically inhabit the swamps and rivers of Mexico, Central and South America. They are much smaller than their alligator cousins, only reaching up to 88 pounds compared to the much larger alligator, which can weigh up to almost 1,000 pounds. 

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Caimans have a few other physical distinctions that help distinguish them from the alligator; they have longer and sharper teeth and tend to be more agile than gators. 

The caiman wasn't able to escape and was "taken into custody" by deputies and later released to the Texas Game Wardens, according to the Midland Sheriff's Office. 

It is illegal to own an American alligator. You can own a caiman because they are considered exotic animals.

After the sheriff's office posted about the unusual find on Twitter, the caiman's owner came forward to claim the animal.

Taylor Pettaway is a breaking news reporter, originally from Colorado. She has degrees in journalism and criminology. Follow her @TaylorPettaway.

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