An alarm was raised on San Pedro this afternoon after a report went out that a croc had snatched a 24 year old man from a San Pedro Lagoon. But, at newstime, it seems the report may be inaccurate.
The victim is reportedly a deaf mute, someone who can neither hear nor speak.
Reports initially were that he was fishing or spearfishing from a kayak when the supposed incident happened. San Pedranos, along with the Aces Wildlife Rescue organization have raced to form search parties for the man who has now been oficially reported missing.
But tonight, islanders are beginning to suspect that the man snatched by the croc, is just more fiction - or misunderstanding - than fact. The Coastguard, Triple R boat service, volunteers and police searched the area by boat and with drones and found nothing.
We'll have updates if there are any - but the search has been called off for now.
The Search for a Man Allegedly Snatched by a Crocodile
Reports spread like wildfire this afternoon that a man had been pulled under water by a crocodile in the San Pedrito area of San Pedro Town. According to reports, the man was near the lagoon side of the island when a crocodile approached and attacked. A rescue team comprised of police, Triple R, ACES, the Belize Coast Guard and volunteers quickly mobilized and began a search near a canal where the attack was reported. The search then expanded to a mangrove area in the open lagoon. But up to news time, the search has yielded nothing. Earlier today, our correspondent on the island got a comment from Volunteer Rachel Sept of the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary.
Rachel Sept, Volunteer, ACES
"They tend to avoid us and we are very lucky we don't have overly aggressive species and stuff. But what happens is when humans start to intervene, throw food, feed them and stuff and we've had reports of that in this area, then the crocodile start to see us as a food source. They don't necessarily look at us as their prey because they go for like birds, unfortunately dogs, cats raccoons and stuff - so they are really good for the ecosystem and stuff. But unfortunately when we intervene or we inadvertently change their behaviour, so what happens is then it can cause human croc conflict. So in this situation, we don't know all the details yet of what's happened. This is an area that does have a very large croc that has been croc fed. Could that have caused this? I cannot a hundred percent guarantee that. But could it have led to the problem? Yes. And it has been something we do need to look into and address. But this is very abnormal behaviour. I think the biggest thing is that we just don't want the community to be afraid. We are obviously going to assess it, try and find the croc - all that kind of stuff. We are waiting for the guys to get back on the boat and kinda get more information."
Again, up to news time no one had been found.
No signs of alleged crocodile attack in San Pedrito after an exhaustive search
On Wednesday, June 2nd, reports that a person had been snatched by a crocodile in the San Pedrito area mobilized a search and rescue team to the lagoon side of the island. Triple R, Belize Coast Guard, police, ACES Wildlife Rescue, and volunteers scoured the nearby waters and mangroves for the crocodile and the victim. After several hours, the team ended the search for the day without locating the supposed victim or any signs suggesting that a crocodile attacked someone. The incident reportedly took place after 1PM in the lagoon area by San Pedrito. A deaf-mute male sounded the alarm that a crocodile had snatched someone. According to reports, he first described the person as a minor, then as an adult, and explained that the apparent victim was on a kayak and wore a red shirt.
Triple R had their ambulance at the ready in case the search someone was found injured. Several boats spread out as they searched the area, but they could not find any trace suggesting an attack had occurred after several hours. Later in the day, drones were flown over the area, but the live images did not produce signs of the reported missing person. The search was called off after 5PM, but members from the ACES team plan to return to take another look in the area. Although there are raising suspicions of a false alarm, the search and rescue team wants to continue searching when they resume this evening.
Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun