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Teasing crocodiles - again

Posted By: Anonymous

Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 03:19 PM

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?
Posted By: JZB

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 03:28 PM

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.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 03:50 PM

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.
Posted By: Belize-N-Us

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 03:51 PM

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.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 03:55 PM

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.
Posted By: iluvbelize

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 03:56 PM

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.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 03:57 PM

"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.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 03:58 PM

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.
Posted By: iluvbelize

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 04:04 PM

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!
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 04:17 PM

Good ideas Simon
Posted By: Leah-Ann

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 04:18 PM

Originally Posted by iluvbelize
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.

I completely agree! We went to watch some of the local kids feed the crocs our first trip. It wasn't until later that we learned the concerns. Had we known ahead of time our response to the kids would have been different.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 04:27 PM

The "lake" is private property. There is private property situated between the lake and the public road. The fellow that owns the land offered to put up a fence but knows that it will be vandalized immediately. The government is hoping to acquire that piece of land and then develop the vocational college on this plot.

The police do go to the lake when they can spare the man power. But that isn't everyday.

I've seen 7 crocs at one time at the lake. And often over 50 people watching.

Yes, I think the boys are going to be in for a rude awakening one day, and I hope that I don't have to witness it (the lake is on the way to my house so I pass by everyday at "showtime."


Posted By: Belize-N-Us

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 04:31 PM

I think a preserve/fences/boardwalks/guides are great ideas but will be years in the making if they ever happen.

The only immediate steps that can be taken is to try to reduce the tourist contribution to the problem. Signs stating the dangers/legalities/penalties to the feeders/contributors as well as the crocs is one form of educating the visitors.

I agree a sign on site will be immediately destroyed. Signs on protected property or businesses may survive. Also ads in the media would help.
Posted By: Belize-N-Us

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 04:33 PM

What is the penalty for feeding a croc? Any?
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 04:43 PM

PENALTY?
LAWSUIT?
HA
Posted By: iluvbelize

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 04:44 PM

Penalty - unlikely
Lawsuit - possible
Posted By: JZB

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 04:50 PM

The fine is $1000. Unfortuately no one has ever been fined.
Posted By: Belize-N-Us

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 05:04 PM

"Unfortuately no one has ever been fined."

The tourists won't know that. But if they think they might be fined $1,000 many will not take the "risk" be it a real risk or not.

Willing to risk life/limb to get that close-up photo but not $1,000 I bet!
Posted By: Nancy1340

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 06:06 PM

Wonder if the kids would be so nonchalant if they knew croc's can sprint at about 35 mph?
Posted By: Barbara K

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 09:20 PM

Of course it will take a disaster before anything is done about it.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 09:47 PM

i've played with crocs many times. so don't ask me. i've seen em run too. that shakes you up a bit. but there are ways. get em when they are small. that helps a lot. i suppose i'm not helping.
Posted By: iluvbelize

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 10:07 PM

Bad Marty, Bad! You are cracking me up!
Posted By: Barnacle

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/10/08 10:23 PM

Don't worry. Being eaten by a crocodile is just like going to sleep. In a giant blender.

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/11/08 12:49 AM

I've canoed in the White Nile alongside crocs/alligators that were significantly longer than the boat. Luckily they don't realise how easily they could turn the canoe over.
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/11/08 01:16 AM

Maybe you just did not look too appealing to them. grin
Posted By: ExOkie

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/11/08 01:35 AM

Didn't a guy just about get his leg bitten off on Caye Caulker a couple of weeks ago? Someone at Estel's was reading the San Pedro Daily about a guy who walked out 5 feet in the swamp bordering the airport runway to get a picture of a croc and another came up behind him.

I know the guy didn't get much sympathy from the patrons at Estel's.
Posted By: carbunkletrumpet

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/11/08 02:11 AM

IDEA - Those who are deemed bad on the board will be a participant of the new Sunday afternoon feeding show. Or Reaper has a "loser gets fed to a crock wrestling match!" grin grin grin
Posted By: skippy

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/11/08 02:27 AM

There some good eatin on one of them.
Posted By: skippy

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/11/08 02:27 AM

And once the crocs figure that out...
Posted By: seashell

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/11/08 04:25 AM

I believe I've told this story before. When last on the island, some locals wanted to take my friend to see the crocodiles. I begged her not to go with them and tried to explain how wrong it was and why. She chose to ignore the warnings because the locals made it sound exciting and she wanted the Belizean adventure. While I was telling her not to go, another Belizean who had been listening, started to give me heck for talking about things I don't know anything about, since I don't live there. He said that I would take the food out of the boys' mouths because that is how they make money. I told him that if they were stopped from feeding the crocs by lack of business, they would likely find better jobs (I meant safer jobs, and one would hope with a better future). The discussion pretty much ended at that point.

I believe my recommendation to the board at the time was flyers setting out the warning, the dangers, the fees and the fines be distributed to every hotel and rental property. Each property has a book with their hotel information, often some restaurant and tour info, why not some local warning info as well?

Cut off the supply of fools that go to see this activity and the activity would stop.
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/11/08 12:33 PM

I also find the inconsistancy interesting when it comes to interaction with the marine animals. Not feeding and touching the crocodiles certainly makes sense because of the danger. But how about the regulation of not touching the whale sharks but guides handling the nurse sharks. confused
Posted By: iluvbelize

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/11/08 01:10 PM

Right on By.
Posted By: suecate

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/11/08 01:12 PM

Kids will always do something stupid no matter where they live. You are invinsible and even if something happens it happened to the other guy because he was not doing it right. When we were growing up the boys would jump the freight trains, even after someone lost a leg it continued. Not that I condone it at all and would never participate, they will just find something else to get a thrill.

bywarren I agree with you about the handling of the marine animals.
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/11/08 01:33 PM

Maybe I am too cynical in my advanced years, but it just seems like the money is more of the motivating factor in many of these decisions - even though Belize tries to portray it as being eco-friendly. Like don't touch the whale sharks because they might not like it and not continue to hang around here allowing me to bring you tourists out to see them. And let me grab one of these nurse sharks so you can take pictures because there seems to be enough around so if one doesn't like it there are others and this should be a good tale for you to tell your friends to get them to come hire me. frown

PS: I'll just keep this on the subject of marine animals and not get on my soap box about dredging and cutting mangroves. smirk
Posted By: krehfish

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 06/11/08 02:21 PM

I agree with the fences and boardwalks. Add a couple of viewing platforms w/coin operated binocs, a guide with a megaphone and safari hat and we'll have Disneyland to compliment South Beach.
Posted By: A C

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 01/29/09 01:14 PM

Originally Posted by Belize-N-Us
What is the penalty for feeding a croc? Any?


the penalty might be death if they arent careful frown. Over time these crocs are going to start associating humans with food. Soon as that REALLY catches on its gonna be a bad time ;\

AC
Posted By: JeanH

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 01/29/09 01:53 PM

Since I wasn't a witness, I won't name names, but a friend was on a recent trip to Lamanai with Tanisha, and one of the other tour operators was teasing one of the crocs on the river on the way there. Not exactly eco-tourism.
Posted By: skippy

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 01/29/09 09:58 PM

Where has pedro2 been? No posts for a while.
Posted By: pnut

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 01/29/09 10:15 PM

Seashell, I agree with your idea of the flyers/signage at the hotels. It will deter the tourists with the thought of a possible fine, but I doubt the danger level will sink in.

Check out what Vince & Cherie are doing to help the crocs at the ACES preserve. http://www.americancrocodilesanctuary.org/

We had the opportunity to go and visit them our last trip, the setup they have to view & learn about the crocs is impressive. They have 2 lovely guest houses if you're interested in staying for a few days. "GEORGE" and "DEBBIE" are two of the resident crocs, both were relocated from San Pedro when they became too familiar with humans. I imagine they will be called upon soon to come and capture/rescue the family of crocs in the lagoon.
Posted By: tacogirl

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 01/30/09 02:47 PM

Chunkyruth did great poster and information pages about why it is not right to participate in feeding crocs for Coral Bay Villas.

I agree all hotels should do this to help put proper information out there.
Posted By: Peter Jones

Re: Teasing crocodiles - again - 01/30/09 03:17 PM

Originally Posted by skippy
Where has pedro2 been? No posts for a while.

I'm here, but why post when others are doing such an excellent job?!
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