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Is there a caiman lurking in High Park?

Posted by Chris Bateman / July 7, 2014

Caiman High ParkSomething's lurking in High Park's West Pond. Something reptilian. Something definitely not native to Canada. Local resident Teghan Stadnyk, whose backyard faces the small body of water also known as Catfish Pond, says she saw what appeared to be a caiman--a type of reptile related to the alligator--swimming in the shallow water around 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

"Me and my friend were just hanging out and he saw something and was like 'oh my gosh, is that a crocodile,'" she says. "We just went and sat and watched it for half an hour and it stood just still for a while and then swam around and made some biting motions. It's pretty fascinating--I've never seen anything like that before."

Caimans are a type of amphibious carnivore native to Central and South America. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica: "The largest of these species is the black caiman, a potentially dangerous animal attaining a maximum length of about 4.5 metres. The other species normally attain lengths of about 1.2-2.1 metres, with a maximum of about 2.7 metres in the spectacled caiman."

Stadnyk says the creature was about the size of an adult's arm, but it has vanished since last night's heavy rain.

"I've seen a beaver [in the pond] before but nothing as unusual as this so I think maybe someone did probably just drop a pet and it grew--a whole lot."

UPDATE: CAIMAN CAUGHT. Toronto Animal Services and the Toronto police marine unit have safely bagged the beastie. It will be taken to a reptile sanctuary and later placed a new home. It's safe to go back in the water... for now.

Here's the video.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Photo of a different caiman by Lea Maimone



steverator / July 7, 2014 at 02:22 pm
that is a big cat!
ROB FORD / July 7, 2014 at 03:03 pm
I doubt it'll last through the winter.

Also,this post needs more Ford.
CT / July 7, 2014 at 03:20 pm
A great example of why exotic animal trade should be illegal in Canada. People dump reptiles and other exotic all the time when they grow up and realize they can't control these animals. The Everglades is full of snakes, crocs, and big cats that were once 'pets'.
KevinN / July 7, 2014 at 03:52 pm
I hope it adapts to our climate and becomes a super creature that terrorizes Toronto.
Les / July 7, 2014 at 03:59 pm
Yes its a caiman in a pond. Agreed. But is it high park?
cok rock / July 7, 2014 at 04:06 pm
I have a caiman in my pants.
5 Shirted Jogger / July 7, 2014 at 04:11 pm
Caiman for Mayor!
Doug F / July 7, 2014 at 04:24 pm
clearly immigration in this city is out of control!
Cheech / July 7, 2014 at 04:32 pm
Lay off the peyote bud.
Someone Like You replying to a comment from KevinN / July 7, 2014 at 04:45 pm
You're just as stupid as the person who released their 'exotic pet' into the wild...
Croc Dundee replying to a comment from cok rock / July 7, 2014 at 05:05 pm
coc rok, I think you caiman in your pants!
RON SWANSON / July 7, 2014 at 05:11 pm
You had me at meat tornado
W. K. Lis / July 7, 2014 at 05:14 pm
Godzilla Jr.?
Rust / July 7, 2014 at 05:17 pm
Correct your information. There is no "Catfish Pond" in High Park. The pond in question is located in Rennie Park, south of runnymede.


The creator of the reddit article where this was mentioned has confirmed this:

KevinN replying to a comment from Someone Like You / July 7, 2014 at 05:30 pm
"You're just as stupid as the person who released their 'exotic pet' into the wild..."


You, that's what you sound like.
#Fail / July 7, 2014 at 05:52 pm
This happened under Norm Kellys watch. Whats he going to do about it? Another failure. Whats he waiting for Wynnes approval? Norm should be down there addressing the issue with area residents, making them safe and secure. Instead he'll do nothing until someone gets bit, then it will be an issue. Pathetic Apathy we neef someone in office that can speak to us and take care of the city and its residents.
It's on / July 7, 2014 at 05:54 pm
First one to catch it, gets to eat it!
Swamp Man / July 7, 2014 at 06:04 pm
Mmmmmmmm Caiman burgers
BET ITS GOOD WITH BUTTER AND GARLIC / July 7, 2014 at 06:12 pm
Caimen meat...mmmm

Lola replying to a comment from KevinN / July 7, 2014 at 06:30 pm
We already have Rob Ford - what more do we need to terrorize us?
Ray / July 7, 2014 at 06:45 pm
Ok tomorrow we take a row bow out, with a line and big hook tide to the boat and a chicken breast on it. The Caimen will snap at it and once it gets a hold it will swallow the chicken breast whole along with the hook then its ours to eat. Trust me I've done this before in Trinidad.
Teekachan / July 7, 2014 at 06:45 pm
Could someone who is responsible (and not like the jokers who have left their silly comments here) please call a wild life sanctuary or the zoo or some one who can capture the poor thing and take it to proper facility where it can be properly cared for before someone does get hurt please
Umm its been caught replying to a comment from Teekachan / July 7, 2014 at 06:55 pm

UPDATE: CAIMAN CAUGHT. Toronto Animal Services and the Toronto police marine unit have safely bagged the beastie. It will be taken to a reptile sanctuary and later placed a new home. It's safe to go back in the water... for now.
Meanfcker / July 7, 2014 at 07:56 pm
I hope it eats a child or an elderly person.
Mr.Bear / July 7, 2014 at 08:05 pm
fORD lOCUSTS / July 7, 2014 at 08:10 pm
We will strip High Park of all vegetation as we have stripped the city of its dignity. We will eat the croc.
Bay St. Guy / July 7, 2014 at 08:22 pm
Wait, what? Britannica still exists?! Someone has finally finished uploading all of the cd-roms?
Sukinder / July 7, 2014 at 10:42 pm
Too bad. A once in a lifetime chance to try\taste something rare and exotic. Ohh well the one that got away...
Cole replying to a comment from CT / July 8, 2014 at 01:26 am
The fact that you think that just pisses me off, reptiles are becoming one of the most popular pets. Just because one dipshit decided to release it doesn't mean millions of peoples pets should be illegal. That's completely unfair. And keeping caimans and large dangerous reptiles isn't very common. I could understand certain species but ruining banning every species would be retarded. The mass majority of the reptiles kept are harmless. So stop being ignorant and don't post stupid shit.
Rob Ford replying to a comment from Ray / July 9, 2014 at 02:42 am
Too late. Row Bow Cop got him...

"Dead or alive, you're caiman with me!"

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