August 5, 2010

OOP Gators in Japan

Alligators and alligator gars seem to be getting around Japan recently. Out of place alligators are not a phenomenon unique to the United States, as can be seen in a recent article from the Japanese Mainichi Daily News. I have posted the article as is.

ISAHAYA, Nagasaki — Three alligators are believed to have entered Isahaya Bay’s reservoir, leading the local government to warn local residents to keep out of the area.

According to Nagasaki Prefectural Government officials, an employee responsible for research on animals around the reservoir reportedly found three creatures, apparently alligators, swimming in the water about 100 meters south of the flood-control dike’s south gate at around 10:30 a.m. on July 23. The 2,600-hectare reservoir’s water was desalinated by reclamation work.

The three creatures, estimated to be around one meter in length, are believed to be either abandoned or escaped pets.

After receiving a call reporting the alligators, police alerted local residents to the animals’ presence nearby using loudspeakers. The Unzen Municipal Government also warned residents about the alligators via its disaster-prevention system. The prefectural government and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will put up warning signs around the reservoir on July 24 at the earliest and consider capturing the alligators.

A photo of one of the alligators.

The Saga Prefectural Government has been urging the central government to open the dike’s drain gates and investigate the bay, claiming that the land reclamation has damaged the fishing environment in the Ariake Sea. Meanwhile, the Nagasaki Prefectural Government has been opposed to the so-called “Open-Gate Investigation” in the bay.

“We never expected that alligators would be found in the reservoir. We are just confused,” said a Nagasaki Prefectural Government official, showing annoyance at the new problem.”

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