Donít knock the crocs! A warning from the Govt. http://www.reporter.bz/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1472&Itemid=2
Friday, 06 October 2006
The Forest Department has issued a warning to certain people in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, that itís a crime under Belize law to feed crocodiles in the lagoon behind the town.
There have been recent reports that certain tourist guides have been putting the crocodiles on display for the benefit of tourists, by offering the animals food and then taking them captive when they emerge from the water.
The Department notes that such acts are illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act, Chapter 220 of the Laws of Belize.
The law sets a maximum penalty of $1000.00 for every offence of disturbing, harming or killing any bird or animal protected under the Act.
The law empowers the courts to demand a fine and to imprison the guilty party for a period of six months for every offence.
Feeding the crocodiles which inhabit the lagoon is regarded as a form of disturbance of the natural habitat because the crocs develop a Donít knock the crocs (e) dependency on humans for their food.
This dependency creates a potentially dangerous situation which could lead to attacks on humans by hungry crocodiles looking for food. People who live near the lagoon and others who go to or pass by the area are especially at risk.
The department further seeks the publicís assistance in the removal of crocs which stray into populated areas and urges the public to respect the laws that protect the animals and help to preserve human life.