The Water Plant Lagoon’s resident crocodiles will surely miss their faithful main attraction. Known as ‘George’ by the locals, this 13 foot American Crocodile retired this past Sunday and relocated to ACES/American Crocodile Education Sanctuary in southern Belize. There George will live out the remainder of his life in a peaceful, safe habitat where he still can see children and teach people about crocodiles, but in a safe environment both for himself and humans.
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Where Broken Crocs Go
You may remember George the crocodile. We introduced you to him back in August. He’s a 13 foot American crocodile that lived in the San Pedro Lagoon and had become a popular tourist attraction. That’s because George was fed and overfed by San Pedro residents – which can be entertaining for tourists but poses a deadly threat to the whole community – because once a croc loses his fear of human’s anything is game for them.
So in July he was removed from the lagoon and relocated to Aces – the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary in Punta Gorda. It may sound harmless but for a croc like George who was fed raw whole chickens everyday – it’s like being in croc prison; he’s on a strict diet and a confined area. He joins 16 other crocs at the aces sanctuary which is the only place to keep crocodiles that have become dangerously familiar with human beings. We stopped in for a visit this weekend and found out about the work they do and where George fits in. Owner and developer of the sanctuary Vincent Rose says saving the lives of crocodiles is what it’s all about.
Vincent Rose, ACES
“We saved them from death. All these crocodiles would have been shot or killed because of man interfering with their lives. Your having them as or
illegally feeding them is making them a danger to humans.”
Why does feeding crocodiles make them dangerous?
“They are not the smartest animals, they have a very small brain, their brain is about the size of their eyeball. When they begin to associate food with man, it is over; they believe all men have food or can be food and a crocodile would definitely take a small child after it has been fed by humans.”
Tell us about George.
“George came from Ambergris. There were kids, generation after generation, feeding this animal 15 to 20 frozen chickens a night for tourism. They didn’t have a license, they didn’t have tourism license, they didn’t have a permit from the Forestry Department – it was all being done illegally. The animal is dangerous, has tried to bite me several times so ACES works with the Forestry Department and when there is a problematic crocodile, we work with them under their authority and we go relocate the animal to a safe place which is ACES.”
Photographs courtesy San Pedro Sun
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