Let me just put in my 2 cents and say, don't buy one. They don't calm down, they get fairly large and require a lot more space than you would think. Even a four foot one would require a large enough pool to full submerge itself, turn around, and an equally large land area to bask. If you are wondering whate experience I have, I am a zoo keeper and have worked with dwarf, spectacled, and broad snouted caimen. Basically, none of the crocodilian family make good pets.anyone have any experience raising caimens? spotted or dwarf..but im particularly interested in dwarfs. housing size? what all do you put in the tank? experiences? just a general discussion kinda thing.
I agree with this somewhat. We had some rescued alligators at the zoo. The guy had converted his entire basement into a habitat for them. It had a large heated pool, lots of ultra violet lighting, plenty of basking space, and a really good filter. The gators were taken because of zoning laws. He got them back eventually but had to move with them to Pennsylvania. He was pretty much the exception. Everyone else I have seen with private ownership of a caimen or alligator had them in a dirty tank with no filter, no basking spots, and no idea of how pissant mean they got. It usually winds up being put down by animal control or they release them and I have to get them or they die of exposure. Truthfully it would be a neat animal to have, if you could meet it's living requirements.If you have the knowledge in caring for one, why not. I dont see reptiles or arachnids overall as "pets" like a dog or cat.
However crocodilians require lots of space so if you have the space to install a large pool with extremely powerful filtration which cost alot - go for it.
they are no game and fish regs. on crocodilians in tennessee. no laws against owning them...not even a permit is needed. i dont have a home owners association where i live. i have a nice big back yard that i would trasfer the baby to when it got bigger. as far as my homeowners insurance goes...i dont know about that...ill have to check on that.Hey Hedora... what zoo do you work for? I worked reptiles for Phoenix until about 2 years ago.
I have to agree with you, caimen are not fun to keep. They are very, very dirty, so you will need to spend serious $$$ on a good filtration system. You are basically looking at converting your whole back yard into their enclosure.
Specs, in my experience, grow fast and get nastier as they get bigger. Not a pleasant animal to deal with. Dwarfs don't get as big, but will still need a pool they can swim in and land area to bask and walk around (back yard size). Remember these animals also have an incredible turn of speed, and can snag you before you even realize you've been hit. (Jaws, tail, or claws)
If you absolutely must have a crocodilian, if you do have the space and experience to deal with one, not to mention the money to cover housing and feeding... Then get a good old american alligator. They aren't nearly so nasty and some can even become somewhat trained. Note that is *trained* not *tamed*. They also grow more slowly, giving you time to excavate your back yard.
Needless to say, the first thing you should look into are the game and fish regs in your area, urban wildlife laws, homeowners insurance, and your friendly neighborhood homeowner's association CCRs.
I'm in TN, and it can easily hit the teens at the nastiest times, seems to average in the 30s-40s. We've just had a freakishly warm winter, though, long periods around 70. It was awesome. Temps are dropping back to "normal" now, alas.what about weather in tennessee? If you build it in your back yard how cold does it get in the winter (i know its not like maine or anything but still might be colder than a Caimen would be used to)
Oh that's going to be tough in TN... probably why you don't have restrictions on them... its gets so cold they wouldn't survive the winter if they excaped/ were released.
If you have the means to keep them, and an indoor space for the winter (they need basking up to the 90's) and you are ok with the dangers, go for it. I still say start with a gator. They are much better tempered, especially if you work with them, and I think they handle the cool weather a little better.
One thing you might consider though, is checking out your local rescues before making a purchase. Check with your game and fish dept to see who they use as their wildlife re-habbers. A lot of times, rescues have animals that owners dumped b/c they couldn't take care of any more. (too big/ expensive/ dangerous)