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#126817 - 08/30/06 01:11 AM "Crocodile fishing" is newest tourist attraction
Marty Offline
Crocodile fishing" is newest tourist attraction
As a community, San Pedro has led Belize's tourism boom but tonight we feature the story of a group of young men who have combined crocodiles, chicken and a little bit of insanity to create a tourist attraction like no other. News Five's Alyssa Noble reports.

Alyssa Noble, Reporting
San Pedro has always been a fishing town but the newest attraction to hit the island is all about chicken and crocodiles. Dario Espinoza is the “Crocodile fisherman”, a post he’s held for the last four years.

Dario Espinoza, Crocodile Kisser
“I am going to start tying the chicken and then from there we will throw it in the water to lure them in. They come closer, then after that they just start eating. You will have one of them come upfront and then after the big ones will come around. SO let’s start tying the chicken.”

Alyssa Noble
“So is chicken the crocodile’s favourite food or bait?”

Dario Espinoza
“They normally feed on the chicken because the meat is soft. They are use to getting feed everyday.”

Alyssa Noble
“They eat birds from around the area too?”

Dario Espinoza
“Yeah, normally if they are not fed they go after the birds and catch their own meal.”

Alyssa Noble
“What are you going to do now?”

Dario Espinoza
“I’m just going to throw the chicken in the water to let them see, so they can start eating.”

Alyssa Noble
“So it’s basically like you’re fishing for crocks?”

Dario Espinoza
“Yeah, something like that.”

Alyssa Noble
“You want to tell me a little bit more about how you first start doing this?”

Dario Espinoza
“I started like four years ago. It started first with just watching because they use to have another that use to do it but he use to just throw the chicken and stay far. But then I start doing more crazy stuff like going closer and just feeding them. I thought it would be fun having people watch that and more fun than other stuff.”

Alyssa Noble
“You’re role model by chance wouldn’t be Steve Irwin the crocodile guy?”

Dario Espinoza
“Something like that.”

And though Espinoza does it for fun, he also does it for the money.

Dario Espinoza
“Sometimes you make good tips. It depends if the tourist like you a lot they will give you a nice tip, but sometimes you don’t make anything. You just do it for fun. But the tips are pretty good sometimes.”

Tourist #1
“It was exciting. I thought the feeder was very courageous grabbing it by the tail. I don’t think I can do that, so it was pretty exciting. I haven’t seen one up this close before. I’ve seen them in zoos back in Canada, but never this close in wild like this.”

Tourist #2
“I don’t think it will attack me. He got really close to it.”

Alyssa Noble
“Would you get in there after it?”

Tourist #2

The show rotates around the lagoon but the action never stops.

Alyssa Noble
“How did that feel just now? How was that like?”

Dario Espinoza
“It is really nice. Just playing with the crocs that is more adventurous than any other thing.”

And while Espinoza doesn’t want you to try this at home, he has gotten a following and every day, he holds class in crocodile fishing 101.

Reporting for News Five, I am Alyssa Noble.

If you would like to see the crocodile show, just show up at the lagoon near the water treatment plant on the southern end of Ambergris Caye around four every day.

#126818 - 08/30/06 10:16 AM Re: "Crocodile fishing" is newest tourist attraction
Barbara K Offline
still think it is a nightmare waiting to happen :rolleyes:

#126819 - 08/30/06 11:12 AM Re: "Crocodile fishing" is newest tourist attraction
Hon Offline
Isn't there some authority that can stop this before the nightmare?

YouTube video - Feeding the crocodile in Belize

...and who are these people who will pay a child to risk his life?
Newfoundlanders are the only people in heaven who want to go home.

#126820 - 08/30/06 11:18 AM Re: "Crocodile fishing" is newest tourist attraction
ex,why z? Offline
You idiots that encourage this should think about what you're saying. These are pmimative animals, once they assosiate people with food it's a short jump to eating kids. WAKE UP!!!!!

#126821 - 08/30/06 12:43 PM Re: "Crocodile fishing" is newest tourist attraction
MALIBU Offline
"Isn't there some authority that can stop this before the nightmare?"

You leave everything up to the "authorities" to stop (or start)? Just how many rules and laws can be passed before people realize it isn't any of their #$% #$%& business what others do? It SHOULD NOT be up to any AUTHORITIES anywhere to tell people how to live their lives.

Uhum......wiping sweat off my brow......

Now, that said, you wouldn't catch me croc fishing! STOOPID.

#126822 - 08/30/06 01:06 PM Re: "Crocodile fishing" is newest tourist attraction
“Sometimes you make good tips. It depends if the tourist like you a lot they will give you a nice tip, but sometimes you don’t make anything. You just do it for fun. But the tips are pretty good sometimes.”
So it's the tourists fault! Get rid of tourists and solve the problem. Or get rid of chickens. Or pay the kids to not feed the crocs. Or build a stadium and sell tickets.

#126823 - 08/30/06 02:18 PM Re: "Crocodile fishing" is newest tourist attraction
ArtZ SmartZ Offline
For years we have gone down to the lake to see if we could see the crocodile. This year we found a crowd watching this kid feeding the croc for money and then kissed him (the Croc). This kid was risking his life by putting on a show for money. Sorta like Sigfred & Roy. He obviously didn't take into consideration the risk, for the little money he was collecting. It's ashame that feeding a crocodile is the only way he thinks he can make a living. But, as long as the tourists pay him or until he gets hurt, he will continue to do so. But you're right, "it's a matter of time". I must say I feel guilty as I took these pictures, because I was so bothered that this kid would do this. I knew no one would believe me without pictures.

ArtZ SmartZ

#126824 - 08/30/06 02:32 PM Re: "Crocodile fishing" is newest tourist attraction
Amanda Syme Offline
A lovely young tourist couple popped into our office one day. They commented that the weather sure was hot, but during their explorations they were lucky enough to come upon a peaceful body of water where they allowed their 2 toddlers to wade - turns out it was at the croc pond - where at least 5 crocodiles live and are fed by the crocodile fisherman!!!

There are no signs warning people of the dangers, there are no fences, the animals bask along the side of the road each day, they are not afraid of humans. We have seen many a dog carcass floating around in the pond.

It is definitely just a matter of time before something awful happens.

I don't encourage tourists to view the crocs and I don't allow my kids to go near the water by the croc ponds.

I see many a small child right on the banks, usually with their parents, attempting to get a glimpse of these prehistoric creatures.

Our crocs are not as aggressive as Florida gators, but if they get hungry they will eventually snatch someone.

#126825 - 08/30/06 02:37 PM Re: "Crocodile fishing" is newest tourist attraction
beachboy Offline
This issue is going to be always a hot pototo. Firstly the BTIA and the authorities support it. Why is beyond me.

The dangers I personally see is the second show near Banyon Bay, which is residential.

It is currently very quiet and the crocodile he is kissing is an old 14 footer, whom is pregnant. she is also dosile, even this stupid Gringo has stroked her.

This is a potential danger. How do we tell these people to stop earning their income?

We, as guests in this country have a difficult educational task to do.

I would welcome other advice on how we should deal with the situation. The man has his own website now! Paid for by a Gringo!

#126826 - 08/30/06 02:49 PM Re: "Crocodile fishing" is newest tourist attraction
ida_y_vuelta Offline
I don't really think that there is anything you can do to stop except maybe word-of-mouth... and stop going yourself!

i went to check it out once and it seems harmless to be there but i totally understand your guys view point on this... like if i had kids i wouldn't want them playing near crocs nevermind strange dogs...

So really what i'm trying to get at is that i don't see this stopping anytime soon its just gonna get bigger and more popular with time...

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