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#283891 - 06/10/08 09:19 AM Teasing crocodiles - again  

For people who don't know, we have many salt water crocodiles on Ambergris Caye, which thankfully generally keep themselves to themselves. But there is one area just south of Royal Caribbean Resort where local youths have become accustomed to teasing them with dead chickens on rope. They throw the chicken to the crocs' head, then reel it in to get the croc to follow it. They've been doing this for years, even though it's illegal.

A couple of days ago I saw a youth standing in shallow water between two large crocs, no more than 20 feet from either, playing this game. In the water within 100 feet there were three other crocs. Standing on dry land virtually level with the water and no more than 30 feet away was a group of maybe 50 spectators.

Nothing untoward happened, but I wonder if any of these people realised just how quickly these animals can move? Not one of those people, certainly not the youth but not either any of the crowd, at any rate those in the first couple of ranks, could have got away if a croc had decided to attack. It didn't, and usually they don't, but every now and again you get a croc who hasn't read the rules of the game.

How much longer will this be permitted? The police know it goes on, they know where and they know when (4pm), yet they don't act. Will it take a disaster for there to be any action?

#283894 - 06/10/08 09:28 AM Re: Teasing crocodiles - again [Re: ]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,818
JZB Offline
JZB  Offline
I think visitors need to understand that this is illegal and they should not support this activity, especially by giving them money! They probably do not know. Apparently someone spotted a tourist kissing one of the beasts on its nose the other week.

#283898 - 06/10/08 09:50 AM Re: Teasing crocodiles - again [Re: JZB]  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,460
ScubaLdy Offline
ScubaLdy  Offline
Hopefully with the activation of the police constable program someone will care enough to do something about it. My suggestion is that picture be taken where the offender is clearly identifiable and a police report file. The constables will be able to do this.
The organizing of the 12 new Neighborhood Watch groups should get involved here too.

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
#283899 - 06/10/08 09:51 AM Re: Teasing crocodiles - again [Re: JZB]  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 770
Belize-N-Us Offline
Belize-N-Us  Offline
I have been approached twice buy youths wanting $ for "the crocodile show". I told them that it's wrong to feed the croc and one day someone will get hurt. Of coarse they ignored me.

In addition to someone getting killed or severely injured, the crocs will start to approach populated areas and the local authorities will be forced to kill them.

The first thing that could be done is placement of a large warning sign in this area to notify tourist NOT to encourage this activity.

Second, the town could consider a secure fence and enclose a few crocs for tourist to see safely and prevent these "domesticated" crocs from moving into other areas.

Just a couple of thoughts.

I will be back the first week of july and I am willing to help fund and install a sign if others would like to pitch in also.

The sign would need to be placed north of the site on a fairly secure property. I think we would be wasting time to place it on site as the youths involved would likely remove or destroy it.

Last edited by Belize-N-Us; 06/10/08 09:56 AM.

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#283900 - 06/10/08 09:55 AM Re: Teasing crocodiles - again [Re: ScubaLdy]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,466
SimonB Offline
SimonB  Offline
I was happy to see the police shutting them down on Sunday afternoon.

A few weeks ago I saw one of the idiots sitting on top of the largest Croc. There was a family with 2 kids standing about 5' in front of the Croc. If they had only realized how fast a Croc can move they might have had second thoughts about their distance.

Just waiting for one of those guys to slip and fall beside the big one, should make for some exciting vacation videos.

#283901 - 06/10/08 09:56 AM Re: Teasing crocodiles - again [Re: Belize-N-Us]  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,603
iluvbelize Offline
iluvbelize  Offline
I don't think the wild crocs should be fenced in - but some kind of barrier and/or a sign letting tourists know they are wild and dangerous to feed would be a good start. Kid's won't grasp the dangers until something really bad happens. Even those 'domesticated' crocs are wild and will kill someone soon if the practice isn't stopped. Scary.

#283902 - 06/10/08 09:57 AM Re: Teasing crocodiles - again [Re: SimonB]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,466
SimonB Offline
SimonB  Offline
"I will be back the first week of july and I am willing to help fund and install a sign if others would like to pitch in also."

Unfortunately I think you'll find your sign gone within a day unless it's steel and mounted on a steel pole high up out in the water. Even then I think it'll be gone shortly after.

They don't like their pictures taken and they don't like signs telling them what they can and can't do.

#283903 - 06/10/08 09:58 AM Re: Teasing crocodiles - again [Re: SimonB]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,466
SimonB Offline
SimonB  Offline
The best thing would be to declare the WASA lagoons a wildlife preserve, fence in the area, provide boardwalks and licensed guides to do tours.

#283905 - 06/10/08 10:04 AM Re: Teasing crocodiles - again [Re: SimonB]  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,603
iluvbelize Offline
iluvbelize  Offline
I realize that the locals folks don't need any signs telling them anything, but the tourists may at least have the benefit knowing that its illegal and dangerous, and that those crocs are WILD. The town may avoid a lawsuit by an injured or worse, tourist by at least disclosing the danger and prohibition of feeding or getting within 30 feet of the animals. Simon's preserve sounds like a nice idea if it could be accomplished!

#283917 - 06/10/08 10:17 AM Re: Teasing crocodiles - again [Re: iluvbelize]  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,460
ScubaLdy Offline
ScubaLdy  Offline
Good ideas Simon

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
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