Claims that there are crocodiles in the Gönyeli reservoir have been denied by the Director of the Veterinary Office, Huseyin Atabab.
He said that, from time to time, such allegations are made but they have not initiated any studies nor ordered any investigation.
Zoologist Mert Besiktas, who works at the Tashkent Nature Park said that he had been asked to investigate, but had not found anything as yet. However, that did not mean that there were none. Gönyeli reservoir is large and it would take some time to complete an inspection, he said.
Numerous prohibited animals are imported into the country, he said. Some were available for sale on Facebook.
Crocodile hatchlings can be purchased in South Cyprus for around 200 Euros. “People buy these crocodiles when they are small. But when they realise the size they become, they leave them in a lake or a reservoir. I do not think that there is a crocodile in Gönyeli dam right now, but that that does not mean that there will never be because the number of illegal animals in the country is far higher than is thought.”
The illegal importing of non-native animals such as racoons and certain species of snakes are damaging the ecosystem, he said.