Caiman suspect freed pending further enquiries

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Screenshot from a video showing a man beating a caiman. –

An Aranguez man who was detained in relation to the death of a caiman has been released as police continue their investigations into the animal’s death.

Last Thursday a video of a man beating a caiman with a piece of iron on the Aranguez Main Road was circulated on WhatsApp.

The video sparked outrage among social media users, who described the animal’s treatment as inhumane.

On Saturday an Aranguez man believed to be the man killing the caiman was arrested, but was released that afternoon after police questioned him.

Officers said the man was allowed to leave as more enquiries needed to be made in relation to other people seen in the video.

Responding to concerns from the public that animal-cruelty laws were seldom enforced, one North Eastern Division officer admitted while this may be so, it required joint efforts from the police and other agencies.

“We need to address this issue at all levels. While there is some truth to these concerns over a lack of enforcement we also need other agencies, public and private, to come together with the police to protect animals.

“We have seen how badly affected animals at the zoo are by fireworks displays around the Queen’s Park Savannah, so that could be a start to improving our treatment of animals.”

The officer said once the perpetrators found in the video were identified and evidence of wrongdoing found, they would face charges.