Organizers: Alligator Risk Low At Golf Venue For 2016 Rio Olympics
Organizers of the first Olympic golf tournament in 112 years said that "there is little risk of alligator-like creatures slithering onto fairways or greens during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. As many as 6,000 caimans, members of the alligator family, "live in sewage-infested lagoons around western Rio, and some have moved into water features built as part of Gil Hanse’s design for Brazil’s first public golf course." The reptiles, much smaller and more docile than crocodiles, "are not considered a risk to people, though encroachment on their habitat has meant contact with humans is increasing." Int'l Golf Federation Exec Dir Anthony Scanlon said, "We’ll have a strategy in place that will minimize any possibility of a player or spectator coming across these. The risk is minimal." Scanlon said that "course builders are working with conservation experts to contain animals including the caiman and the capybara, the largest rodent and potentially more of a risk to the course." He said, "They’re herbivores so they could potentially dig up the grass" (BLOOMBERG, 10/17).