A Crocodile found dead in Jamaica has been found to have had 22 plastic bags in its stomach when it died. The Crocodile was found by members of the National Environment and Planning Agency, who took it to Hope Zoo in Kingston for a post-mortem examination. When conservation biologist and Crocodile expert Joey Brown cut open the Animal he found the plastic in its stomach, which he believes may once have contained meat, leading the Crocodile to swallow them while scavenging for food, resulting in its death.
Only a single species of Crocodilian is found in Jamaica, the American Crocodile, Crocodylus acutus, a species found throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and parts of northern South America, southern and western Mexico, and parts of Florida. American Crocodiles are unusual in that, while they will enter freshwater environments, their favoured habitat is saltwater lagoons, mangroves, and small islands, a habit they share with only one other Crocodile species, the Indo-Pacific Saltwater Crocodile, Crocodylus porosus. The species can grow quite large, with mature males often exceeding 4 m in length and the largest measuring slightly over 6 m, but are not particularly agresive towards Humans as long as they are left alone. They predominantly feed on small Mammals, Birds, Fish, and Turtles, but have been known to take larger prey on occasion, including Cattle. American Crocodiles are classified as Vulnerable under the terms of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, with the Jamaican population considered to be particularly at risk due to destruction of wetlands and hunting for food.
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