Cullers shoot condo with stray pellet

| 16/09/2019 | 60 Comments
Cayman News Service
Green iguana (Photo by DoT)

(CNS): Iguana cullers have been issued another warning by police and officials from the Department of Environment after a condo at a North Sound canal community was hit by a stray pellet from an air rifle, which smashed a glass panel. Both the DoE and the police have issued warnings about the rules of the national green iguana cull but concerns remain regarding trespassers and the cavalier approach of some hunters.

“We have had recent reports of cullers trespassing on private property or firing air rifles without displaying the proper signage,” said Inspector Courtney Myles, head of the RCIPS Community Policing Department. “We want members of the public to know that we take any reports of trespass or firing air rifles illegally very seriously. For the cullers, just remember that having a licence does not exempt you from following the law. Any such offenses will be investigated and dealt with accordingly.”

The island-wide cull has so far been successful in cutting the green iguana numbers. The invasive species had reached an unsustainable level, and last summer, just before the cull began, the DoE annual count had estimated there was as many as 1.3 million eating their way through Grand Cayman’s flora and threatening various species.

However, by the end of last week the cullers, who are paid $5 for each iguana taken to the dump, had killed more than 900,000, making a significant dent in the population. But as the population decreases, it has become increasingly difficult to find them.

The DoE said that some of the complaints about cullers, including this latest incident, were partly due to the success of the cull, but warned that their responsibility to stick to the rules remains unchanged.

“We sympathize with the fact that things are tougher now with the reduced number of greens in the wild and that people may be tempted to take shortcuts,” said Fred Burton, manager of the DoE Terrestrial Resources Unit, which oversees the cull. “However, there is no excuse for failure to follow the guidelines put in place for registered cullers. Such failures will not be tolerated and, if caught, your culling licence will be revoked.”

The DoE is also reminding cullers to be mindful of taking iguanas from people who are not registered to take part in the cull because they are responsible for the conduct of anyone who provides iguanas that are submitted for the count and ultimate bounty.

“If they are found to be breaching the requirements in culling iguanas, you may be the one who ends up penalized,” Burton warned. “We have seen great success with the Green Iguana Cull, which is now in its eleventh month, and we look forward to working with the public and our cullers to ensure that the same standards are upheld going forward for the continued success of the programme and, most importantly, the safety of the public,” Burton added. 

The police said anyone using air rifles for the cull must place signs prominently in the area where they are using it to indicate that marksmen are culling. They must also wear a high-visibility vest identifying them as an iguana culler. And all cullers using an air rifle must have a valid firearms licence issued by the RCIPS. Simply having a culling licence does not automatically entitle people to use an air rifle.

Cullers must secure permission from property owners before entering onto any private property to conduct a cull, whether or not they are using an air rifle. The RCIPS and DoE are encouraging members of the public to contact the RCIPS if they witness any culler who is in breach of these requirements.

See recent Ask Auntie question on CNS Local Life: What to do about unwelcome cullers?


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Category: Crime, Land Habitat, Police, Science & Nature

Comments (60)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    People are very good at jumping to conclusions even before the investigation is complete.
    Just because cullers were in the area doesn’t mean they did it.
    The picture of the glass showed no actually point of impact. Nor were there any of the typical energy transfer dispersal rings.

  2. Moi says:

    Tired of these folks being on my property in the middle of the night with their flashlights. Scared the bejeebies out of me. Ansolutely no respect. If you go out and ask them why they are there you get a foul mouthed rant. Offensive.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Was it a accident or deliberate

  4. Anonymous says:

    How do we know this wasn’t on purpose? Or not a culler?

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is why people this country doesn’t want the general public to be able to have firearms. They can’t even handle a pellet gun!!…….totally irresponsible!

    • Anonymous says:

      True. Let’s leave firearms in the capable hands of criminals only.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agenda much?

      • Anonymous says:

        Would much prefer that than to throw firearms into the mix of the many, many, MANY domestic incidents that happen daily in our islands. A firearm can turn a physical altercation that might only result in a hospital visit into something fatal.

    • Anonymous says:

      *don’t – grammar police citizen’s arrest.

      • Pedant says:

        You and the original poster are both wrong. Try:
        “This is why this country doesn’t want the general public to be able to have firearms”, or
        “This is why people don’t want the general public to be able to have firearms”.
        🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    Had one of them shooting by a playground while my child was there. Unacceptable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you call the police???????? I hope you were proactive enough to report it. Cullers MUST have permission for the property of which they are culling on and MUST not discharge their pellet guns towards ANY public road OR residence.

  7. Fekkin Eejits says:

    One of the cardinal rules of firearm use is to be aware of your backstop; and if there isn’t a suitable backstop, then don’t take the shot. Unfortunately, there are too many untrained cowboys out there. Many air rifles these days can project a pellet at more than 1,000 feet per second, so it is easy to break a window from a considerable distance.

  8. Anonymous says:

    A million iguanas+one window pane. Not too shabby. I am going to worry about the real dangers—bad drivers and all the gangbangers.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I fully appreciate the cull and the cullers for the job they have done. However, the other night we had a culler in our neighborhood at 1:45 am shining his light in the trees from the street. Caused a bit of alarm amongst the neighbors. Since common sense isn’t so common, there should be some basic guidelines laid out for the cullers. One being, don’t cull unannounced in neighborhoods after say, 7pm?!?!?

    • Anonymous says:

      A culler in your neighborhood at 1:45am? And so what, we are there providing a public service for you and as long as we’re on public property and not tresspassing then we can be in anyone’s neighborhood at anytime, maybe you should use your common sense (if you have any at all) to acknowledge that if you see flashlights in the bushes spotting up in the trees then more than likely it’s people culling, and if anything looks out of the way than that then by all means dont hesitate to call the police, but then again powdering your nose at 1:45 in the morning does make you a bit paranoid.

      • Anonymous says:

        What!? Are you out of your mind?

        A person in your yard at 1:45am is terrifying!!!!!!

        Completely unacceptable.

        Even in the daytime, a culler should be knocking on a homeowners door and asking permission.

        A dam culler does not get carte blanche to be out and about prowling on people’s property for any reason, whatsoever.

        • Anonymous says:

          cant you read dumbass as long as i aint on your property i can cull no matter what time of day or night

          • Anonymous says:

            I don’t appreciate your language.

            I don’t know how you can do your job in the middle of the night in pitch darkness.

            You’re likely a dude who can’t get a job, who thinks he is king cull with a gun.

            I hope there are rules made that make culling after dark a crime.

            I hope there are rules made that make people like you have a fire arms license.

            I hope you don’t get shot or chopped in the line of duty because your cocky attitude over rides your common sense.

            Have a peaceful night and please, do not disturb the peaceful night of others prowling around “looking for green iguanas”.

            • Anonymous says:

              I dont appreciate your ignorance.

              I cull only at night as it’s way easier to catch them while they’re asleep.

              I actually have a job and it’s to kill as many invasive species as i can for the bounty of 4.50 a head without the use of a firearm(dont need it) and as long as i dont trespass on private property or cull near to powerlines i can move freely doing my job at anytime of the night, i actually just got home with 125 iguanas, do the math, not a bad pay for a nights work.

              I hope people like you aren’t able to repopulate, and as long as we are a country of rights then culling at night can never be made a crime.

              I understand that there maybe a few bad apples that spoils the bunch, but i always move with in my rights so there’s no need for me to worry about getting shot or chopped, and if you or anyone else trys to violate those rights then common sense should tell you that you’ll be getting more than my cocky attitude.

              Have a good day at work being a keyboard worrior and i’ll enjoy my rest.

              • Anonymous says:

                When you get home at 4:24am, what do you do with the 125 dead iguanas you have killed? At what time do you take them to collect your money? What does the place do with the dead iguanas?

                • Anonymous says:

                  Troll.

                • Anonymous says:

                  First i count them and then i freeze them in my deep freezer and then i carry them in at the counting station by the landfill every 2 weeks and then they bury them in a big hole and then i collect a check the following week. And then and then and then.

          • Anonymous says:

            Time to take your gun away bobo.

            • Anonymous says:

              6:51pm dont be a dumbass this isnt some 3rd world place the power doesnt stay off for more than 30mins.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:11am

        1:45 am and the dogs start barking like crazy waking up the whole household. Light shining around the bushes – there’s a man out there in the dark. Neighbors vehicle broken into not long ago. Let’s use my common sense. Yeah, I’m paranoid. SMDH

        • Anonymous says:

          Maybe you should lay off the drugs at that time of morning and try muzzle your muts from making so much noise, a vehicle broken into has nothing to do with me providing a public service for you.

          But if the nose candy really have you that paranoid and you are concern then please by all means dont hesitate to call the police, that’s what there here for, Dummy.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’ll get over it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    These callers are ridiculous and a stop should be put to them!! They have no regards for the law, trespassed in my property 10pm at night looking for iguanas. Iguanas are welcomed at my house anytime not you so called cullers looking a quick buck at any cost. #respectlaws

    • Anonymous says:

      What a really stupid comment, i hope that you sir/maam dont have any offsprings and if so please i beg of you do not reproduce, it is people like you thats whats wrong with this world now.
      You do know that culling iguanas is a service to the public including yourself and every dollar that is paid to the cullers is worth every penny spent for their hard earned work that is not a quick buck, dont get me wrong no one should be trespassing on other people’s property and if that was the case then maybe you should have just called the police but to rant and rave on with your ignorance truely shows how retarded you are, maybe you should do your part in getting rid of these pest out of your yard instead of housing them to breed and create more problems which in it self is against the law. #moron

      • Bertie : B says:

        Shouldn’t be using the word Retarded or Moron , Not nice ! they call me intellectually challenged / at least my midget friends do .

  11. Anonymous says:

    This article only provides the incident but nothing pertaining to an investigation or even penalties for culling outside the parameters of the program. Just a warning? Who pays for the damages? Will there be a full investigation and the culprit(s) prosecuted? I would like the DOE and the RCIPS guarantee the residents, their children and their properties are safe!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Where

    Do

    All

    The

    Dead

    Iguana

    Bodies

    Goooooooooooooooo?

  13. Anonymous says:

    an audit of this entire scheme would be a very damning report. at every turn there are mores questions and no answers.

    • Anonymous says:

      An audit would show a giant gravy train!

    • Anonymous says:

      Great comment.

      Why isn’t there an audit?

      Why aren’t there safety standards?

      Why aren’t there hours set of when cullers can kill?

      Why isn’t there a list of approved killing devices?

      Where do all of the dead iguana bodies go?

      Are the same bodies being recycled day after day for pay?

  14. Anonymous says:

    How many cullers with valid firearms licenses? Are there more than five?!?

  15. Jotnar says:

    First, no amount of signage or yellow vests will make a difference to someone taking a shot where there is no solid backdrop – so if you miss the round keeps going till it hits something or runs out of power. Think about it – what would have been the difference here if the shooter had a sign or a yellow vest? The house would have ducked? Second, look at the view behind the window. The near east cover where an iguana could have been is a way away. That would be some air rifle to carry that distance and will have the kinetic energy to shatter a tempered glass window. More like .22 LR. Guess the police want to downplay it by calling it an air rifle, but whichever way you cut it, a round carrying enough force to shatter a window would have been serious if it hit a person- especially if that person was say 100 metres nearer the firer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually Jotnar, a .22 cal pointed pellet can easily shatter a window at quite a distance. Nowadays there are pellets and rifles as high as .50 cal.
      The issue here is giving just anyone a license for a pellet gun who may not necessarily be using their brain or have any form of training. Rule number one when not having your rifle aimed towards a varmint at ground level is to make sure you check what is behind your target. Clearly not done here.

    • Anonymous says:

      I love your thoughtful reply.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Do the RCIPS realize that they might have just waited for one of the few licensed rifle cullers to step forward to claim their bounty from that area, solve the issue, and deal with them – but instead Mr Myles (genius) is telegraphing to all the $5/head cullers that by doing so (a) there is property damage to account for, and (b) possible sanctions/charges waiting…how do you catch them now? Cause clearly you haven’t or it would have been in the article!

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you really believe that the cullers are hunting in only one area, and that they specify withing a few hundred years the area they were hunting in when turning in the carcasses? Some don’t even turn them in the same day. I can name at least 8 cullers who use air rifles, and I don’t even know that many of them. Air rifle pellets can be effective at breaking windows hundreds of yards away depending on caliber (.177 or .22), type of pellet, type of rifle (compressed air, spring, etc.), length of barrel, angle of the shot, wind direction, etc. This was an unfortunate accident, possibly due to a careless culler. Let’s just hope no one is ever injured.

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