Julio, an American crocodile, was relocated today from San Pedro to ACES Sanctuary in Ladyville. He’s a huge croc that was creating a lot of disturbance in a community in San Pedro and ACES says they have no choice but to put him in the sanctuary. News Five’s Andrea Polanco went out to meet Julio in the city today before he went to his new home. Here’s her report:
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
Meet Julio the American Croc. This eleven-footer weighs a few hundred pounds and today he is being relocated to his new home at the ACES Sanctuary in Ladyville. Julio the Croc was causing a lot of problems in the San Pablo area of San Pedro. ACES say they know Julio well and have relocated him several times but nothing has worked before and so now he is getting a permanent home made for him at the Sanctuary.
Chris Summers, Daily Operations Manager, ACES
“He has proven himself to be particularly problematic over the years. He is one that I have had to relocate several times in the last few years. He was going into people’s houses, into people’s backyards, taking people’s pets. Relocating him haven’t done any good with this particular animal, so we decided the last time we caught him we would get a pen built for him in Sand hill and nest him there.”
“So, he will be living there permanently?”
“He is going to live out the rest of his days in the pen funded by the Bridget Bardot Foundation. He has just proven too much trouble. We are in the business of keeping crocodile safe but also keeping people safe. And a lot of times, through us catching a crocodile and relocating him, a lot of time that is enough stress and it’s like they don’t want anything to do with people after that. This guy, he comes back immediately every single time, so he has proven himself to be a potential danger.”
“How much does he weigh, approximately?”
“Several hundred pounds. I don’t know, I would go with six, seven, eight [hundred]. He is a heavy, heavy animal and that is why we were waiting for reinforcements to lift him up out of the hull.”
It took a lot of effort – man power and ropes to relocate this croc. His size and strength proved to be tough for those handling him. But Chris Summers says he wasn’t difficult to capture once he had the San Pablo community’s help. So, an empty boat supplied by Quality Poultry Products was used to transport Julio and once he arrived in the City, several men had to take him out of the boat and put him on land. His eyes were covered to keep him calm and he was restrained by ropes and one his handlers held him down for added safety.
“He wasn’t too fearful of people. He came running for the chicken that I had for bait. The community is what helped me. If I had to do it on my own, I would have been a great deal of trouble, which I was because I was on my own to begin with. I was trying to reel him in, people wandering by saw me struggling with this big animal, and they asked if I needed help. I said yeah; get over here and grab him. So, it was a real community effort to catch him and it made the whole effort easier.”
“So, I imagine that community members can now breathe a sigh of relief?”
“Yeah. I would hope so, yeah. I would hope so because he was known to be a particularly troublesome one in San Pablo and up in the DFC.”
“I see you are partnering with Quality Poultry Products; talk to us about this partnership?”
“This partnership with Quality Poultry Products is magnificent for us. They always come back to the island with a big empty boat and it is just big enough for us to fit almost any size croc in there. So, it is a massive, massive help for us that Quality Poultry Products does this for us otherwise it would cost us an arm and a leg to rent a boat and fuel and everything. So, we are really lucky with the people we are able to partner with.”
After he was cooled down with a water hose – Julio waited for his transport to Ladyville. It took several men to load him into the back of this cargo truck and with that he headed off to his new home. He will be the third American croc at the ACES facility. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.