Two Problematic Crocs Removed from WASA Lagoon
Friday, July 23rd, 2010
On Thursday, July 15th, Wildlife Officer Rasheda Sampson of the Belize Forest Department (BFD) and the ACES / American Crocodile Education Sanctuary team captured two, large problematic crocodiles from the WASA lagoon area south of San Pedro Town. The crocs, showing no fear of humans, came rushing out of the water when approached, looking for a chicken handout. This is not a normal behavior for wild American Crocodiles, Crocodylus acutus, which are primarily fish eaters. Normally an apex predator of this size would move away from human activities. These crocs, having been illegally fed for years as a tourist attraction, have been conditioned to seek humans out for food.
The ACES team, consisting of Vince and Cherie Rose, BFD Wildlife Officer Rasheda Sampson, and Crocodilian Parasitologist PhD Student Marisa Tellez, consider the capture to be a success and hope that these two animals are the last of the problematic crocs from direct illegal feedings. Both rescued crocodiles were transported to ACES in Punta Gorda and are adapting to their new environment. The ten-foot male crocodile was named ‘Fast Eddie’ after Eddie from Coastal Xpress who generously and quickly transported the crocodiles from Ambergris Caye to Belize City. The nine-foot plus female croc was named Xanadu in honor of Xanadu Island Resort who graciously donated lodging and transportation for ACES team.
Although the relocation is considered a success, removing the problematic crocs is just a band-aid to the situation. Ideally, the community needs to continue to work on not feeding these modern day dinosaurs by discouraging the illegal croc feedings and also by properly disposing of food wastes. These actions, combined with education, should in time allow humans to safely coexist with this extremely important species.
ACES would like to thank the following for their generous support in the relocation of the two problematic crocs from WASA lagoon to ACES: Coastal Xpress, Xanadu Island Resort, Carts Belize, The San Pedro Sun, South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch, Blanca of Xanadu Island Resort, Mr. Joe, Steve Lee, Mary, Alberto Lunez, Edwine Garma, Ali Gongorn and Captain Israel Esquivel.
For more information about the population study and/or project, or if you would like to arrange a meeting with Chenot-Rose while she is here in August please email her at [email protected] For more information about ACES please visit their website at www.americancrocodilesanctuary.org
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