City says caiman crocodiles that have lived in KCMO for many years must leave

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A spectacled caiman, Caiman crocodilus, at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City authorities said Friday that the animal sanctuary at a home off 50th and Euclid, where caiman crocodiles and other exotic animals live, will have to close and the animals moved to a new home.

Then, shortly after the city released that information, they sent out an email that they will delay delivering the notice to the sanctuary because they’ve been told that another agreement was executed in 2005. They say they await that documentation.

On Tuesday, a utility worker reported seeing what he thought were alligators in an overgrown yard near the corner. As it turns out, they were caimans, a type of crocodile.

Michael Jacobs believed his mother had an agreement with the city and that they were permitted to have the animals. However, the city determined the agreement with the original owner of the animals was no longer valid because she had died. They also said the original agreement had been violated because additional animals had been added. Furthermore, the city said the original agreement stipulated that children would not be allowed in the sanctuary, and the city said this was not being followed.

For these reasons, they told Michael Jacobs that he must find a new home for the animals outside of the city by June 1. If this does not happen, the city is expected to come and take the animals from the sanctuary.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are holding off on delivering the letter while we research the files again to see if we can find the alleged 2005 document,” said Chris Hernandez, Director of City Communications, in an email to the media.

Neighbors say the creatures are part of the culture in the neighborhood and that the utility worker just wasn’t aware.

A resident of the neighborhood where the Caimans were found said the reptiles have lived in the home for nearly 40 years. The neighbor also said he helped make cages for the animals in the late 80s and early 90s.

The neighbor who asked FOX 4 to not post his name said the woman who originally owned the Caiman died, and her son has since been taking care of them. Neighbors and people who called FOX 4 identified the woman as Pat Nichols. See a video about her animal sanctuary below. The video explains: “In 1961 Pat Nichols’ son brought home a baby crocodile in a plastic bag. By the mid-90’s Pat had established an add-hock sanctuary for well over a dozen adult crocodiles and countless birds at what became known as the Parrot Hill Crocodile Farm in Kansas City, Missouri. A colorful matron and maverick, she struggled to keep control of her bazaar and treacherous home, and protect its residents from the outside world.”

In a statement the son said, “Let me assure you that everything is legal and proper at this residence. I have paperwork signed by the city attorney authorizing me to continue to maintain what remains of my mother’s small animal sanctuary, while abiding by the same rules that she did. Any perceived problems that occurred in the past were the result of misunderstandings,” Michael Jacobs said.

Look for updates and reaction on FOX 4 newscasts.