from ACES / American Crocodile Education Sanctuary
Last night we saved a beautiful dog from being ambushed by a crocodile. After chasing off the croc, I leapt onto shore to find the dog's owner or home, to get him away from the water's edge at least for the night. While Chris sat waiting for me, he looked into the water to find a pile of chicken feet, chicken scraps, and various other meat bones sunken at bottom of the bank next to the road. We nearly witnessed a situation that we use as an example of why feeding is so dangerous.
Feeding crocodiles makes them associate people with food. Instead of using caution where people frequent, they seek us out, hoping for a handout. The reality of these situations is that it usually is not the person who is giving the handouts that sees the consequences, but the innocent, like this poor dog that nearly became part of the food chain. What makes matters worse is this is happening in the Boca Del Rio Channel where people including children are often in and around the mangroves, unknowingly in a potentially dangerous situation thanks to this indirect feeding.
Please, if you witness people discarding food scraps or intentionally feeding crocodiles, report it. We want to work with the community to end this practice, to make sure everyone understands the dangers and why proper disposal is better for everyone involved.
The crocodiles we have in Belize naturally fear humans and will usually flee if someone gets too close, but feeding changes their natural behavior. Let's work to keep our crocodile's wild for a safe and harmonious coexistence.
You can report the feeding of or approaching crocodiles to ACES at 623-7920 or to Forest Department at 822-1524.