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#465111 - 05/24/13 10:59 AM Crocodile Craziness On Castle Street
Marty Offline

From time to time on the news weíve reported on crocodiles turning up in the outlying areas of Belize City, such as Collet or Belama, places that used to be swamp 20 years ago and where all the swampland critters still havenít moved out. And thatís why we were surprised early this morning in Belize City when we got a call at around 6:00 am, saying that a crocodile had turned up on Castel Street. Thatís just off Douglas Jones, where the memory of any swamp was erased almost a hundred years ago. So whatís the croc doing in that neighborhood? Thatís probably the same thing he was asking after an unforgettable morning of croc craziness on Castle Street. 7news was there.

Monica Bodden reporting
This croc had every reason to be angry he was tied up inside a backyard on Castle Street. Thatís after he squirmed through this drain Ė you can still see the disturbed area where the broad bellied reptile struggled to get through.

Derek 'Mighty' McKoy - First stumbled upon Croc
"It came out the drain, it came from the left side across the street and it went into the smaller ditch but he couldn't under the bridge so that is where he got stuck. We pulled him back way and threw a rope around it and pulled it up."

They took twenty minutes to subdue the 8 foot croc.

Derek 'Mighty' McKoy
"We just cast it around it's mouth and pulled it up."

Daniel Ortiz
"As quick as that?"

Derek 'Mighty' McKoy
"Yes it took the two of us to move it."

His able assistants, though senior in age, showed no fear.

Gilbert Sebastian Nunez - Castle Street Croc Catcher
"Well we're not really afraid you know because life goes on. Those things can't hurt men just like that because men have brains, we have more sense than these things. We won't take any chances though but we can't let any animal fear human."

Doroteo Zetina - Castle Street Croc Catcher
"Well I'll tell you what I used to hunt jaguars for five years long before they start preserve them. This is no threat to me, I have seen these in the wild a lot."

And today, Castle Street was worse than the wild as the croc had to be hauled to another property which meant being dragged down the street and issued a few gratuitous kicks - just for kicks, apparently. By then, the spectacle had drawn a crowd of ogling spectators as the croc was tied up waiting for some authority to come. About three hours later the team from ACES did come and properly tied the croc.

Will Moreno - Belize Wildlife Conservation Emergency Response Team
"What we need to do is actually protect the species that we have here in Belize so it's very important that we don't even mess with the crocodiles. If you find one and you're able to see one it's best for you to call the proper authorities for them to come and pick it up."

And then it was time to cart him away with Sebastian Nunez anchoring the tail, into the Nisan X Trail.

Will Moreno
"Well the crocodile is going to go to ACES which is a Crocodile sanctuary - it's a special place where they take care of crocodiles. Right now he needs some rehabilitation - he was actually bashing himself against the concrete there so it's very important that they make sure that he's okay. He's definitely very exhausted and very agitated from all the people that were around it. That's the reason why it ended up bashing himself up against the concrete various times."

And now that it has been carried away, everyone wants to know, what caused a crocodile to end up on Castle Street?:

Will Moreno
"It's hard to say how it actually got here but from what I've been told is that from the Bel China there's a canal that comes through the culverts all the way to here and that's probably one of the ways that it got to the location that it got here. It's certainly a threat to public safety, any Crocodile can hurt a kid or an animal that's out there - it is certainly a threat and I'm glad that whoever saw the Crocodile actually called the proper authorities for us to come pick it up."

Doroteo Zetina
"I believe he went with a dog because a lot of dogs were barking around here last night and his belly looks fat like he just ate."

And while that folk tale will live on in the memory this neighborhood, this Croc probably wonít forget this sad encounter anytime soon

For context, we should note that this is the first time in a while weíve seen a croc caught in the city that actually survived. Most times, they are killed, and sold to Chinese restaurateurs Ė so much so, that the capture of a croc is seen as an instant neighborhood ďcome-up.Ē But not in this case, because no reward was offered for its safe handover. But, those who captured and save it can be consoled that they didnít break the law.

It is against the law to kill, capture or sell a crocodile for consumption. The Morelet and American crocodile are protected under the CITES convention.

This one was taken to the ACES rehab center in Ladyville where it will be rehabilitated and release back into the wild.

Channel 7


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#465122 - 05/24/13 11:45 AM Re: Crocodile Craziness On Castle Street [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

8-foot croc wakes up Castle Street neighborhood

vlcsnap-2013-05-23-20h50m32s69A consequence of humans living close to the natural habitat of animals is that sometimes there are close encounters with these animals. Residents of Belama on the Northern Highway and Jane Usher Boulevard and St. Martin de Porres, Lake Independence, have for instance come face to face with wild crocodiles in their neighborhoods, sometimes with disastrous consequences. This morning at around 5:30 a.m. an eight-foot crocodile was captured in the vicinity of Castle Street, not far from a local business. It was believed to have possibly crawled into the area from the vicinity of Belchina Bridge, where a stopped-up drain linking into the repaired North Front Street was believed to be its original home. It may have come out seeking food and shelter, but wound up getting wrangled and removed to another destination.
PLUS News spoke to the man who caught it, Derrick “Mighty” McKoy.

Derrick “Mighty” McKoy:
vlcsnap-2013-05-23-20h50m43s186I got up this morning at 6:30.† I was going to the meat shop, when I saw it in the drain.† So I came and asked the Security to give me a hand to capture it.
It took about 20 minutes [to conquer it].
It’s about 8 feet [long].
It took two hours to move it.† It came out the drain.† It came from the left side across the street, and it want into the smaller ditch, but it couldn’t fit under the bridge.†† Right here it got stuck. We haul it back with a rope, and haul it up.
These are dangerous. I don’t know what to do [with it].† I can’t keep it here.† The boss won’t allow it.†

Belize’s resident crocodile experts, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES), were called in to take away the animal. According to rescue expert Will Moreno, the animal will be further observed after it was seen thrashing and bashing its head on the ground.

Wil Moreno – Belize Wildlife Conservation Emergency Response:
vlcsnap-2013-05-23-20h50m57s67The crocodile is going to go to ACES which is a crocodile sanctuary.† It’s a special place where they actually take care of the crocodile.† Right now he needs some rehabilitation.† He was actually bashing himself against the concrete there.† It’s very important that they actually make sure he’s OK.
We actually need to protect the species that we have here in Belize.† So it’s very important that we don’t even mess with the crocodiles.† If you find one and you’re actually able to see one, it’s best for you to just go ahead and call the proper authorities, for them to come and pick it up.

Area residents Doroteo Zetina and Gilbert “Sabby” Nunez told PLUS News that they wished to see no harm come to neigborhood kids or dogs from the presence of the crocodile.

Gilbert “Sabby” Nunez
vlcsnap-2013-05-23-20h52m21s74My buddy came and said to help him to tie the alligator, when they took it out of the drain there. When we tied it and took it out of the drain, we put over by the bakery, but the boss of the bakery didnít like the idea, because it was there, there was a whole lot of crowd. So we pulled it back over here. From ever since, we have had it tie and thing, waiting for the people, we told them to call the Police and call the vet.

PlusTV


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#465127 - 05/24/13 12:02 PM Re: Crocodile Craziness On Castle Street [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

As a part of the Wildlife Emergency Response Team (WERT) we got the call to go help in securing and ensuring the safety of an 8.5 foot crocodile that found its way into Belize City by way of underground canals and culverts.

Between Evan Sims from the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES), Gordon Kirkwood, Graeme Kirkwood and Will Moreno from the Wildlife Emergency Response Team (WERT) they managed to immobilize this magnificent yet powerful creature for the safety of the public and the safety of the crocodile. We are happy to report that the crocodile has been relocated to the Crodile Sanctuary for further evaluation and future release.

If you would like to take a look at some of the amazing photographs from the capture please click on this link. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151474437583790.1073741859.620113789&type=1

*****For the Record: It is illegal hold captive, torture or kill such an animal for any reason in Belize.*****

Will Moreno



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