Smiley the hybrid crocodile maybe getting a new home at the Cayman Turtle Centre. Smiley is a crossbreed between of Cuban and American crocodile, she was captured 12 years ago in 2006 and has since been living at the Turtle Centre in a reconstructed turtle pen. The nine-foot beast is outgrowing her cage and is in need of something bigger. Curator Terrestrial and Education manager Geddes Hislop said that they are working towards getting the funds to build smiley a new home.
“She is a big attraction for tourist because people come to see a crocodile show and it also gives us an opportunity to teach people about the crocodiles and to tell them the importance the crocodile has to the Cayman Islands, because if it wasn’t for these animals we would be called something else, cause Cayman means crocodile,” said Mr. Hislop.
In 1530 Cayman was known as the Caymanes after the Carib word caimán for the marine crocodile, either the American or the Cuban crocodile, Crocodylus acutus or C. rhombifer , which also lived there. Recent sub-fossil findings suggest that C. rhombifer, a freshwater species, were prevalent until the 20th century.