What happens when wild American crocodiles are illegally fed for entertainment? They begin to associate man with food and will approach anyone who looks like they are offering a meal. Case in point, a couple weeks ago this young man lured a huge croc in from the WASA lagoon south of San Pedro with nothing more than a rock tied onto a rope. It all took place just yards from a large sign that was recently posted by the Belize Forest Department warning against the act, stating “Under Chapter 220 of the Laws of Belize Wildlife Protection Act, molesting (feeding) wildlife is punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or six months in prison.”
Days later a photo of a large croc taken in the same area was posted on the Ambergriscaye.com message board. The croc was consuming a large bag of garbage that was illegally dumped in the area. The bag was reportedly full of tin cans and other indigestible trash. Again, the animal demonstrated an appetite for food originating from man.
In both scenarios this behavior is unhealthy and may even be lethal to the animal, while feeding crocs is a dangerous and illegal practice. The public is reminded again that it is illegal to molest or feed wildlife and dumping trash in the area is illegal as well.
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