A consequence of humans living close to the natural habitat of animals is that sometimes there are close encounters with these animals. Residents of Belama on the Northern Highway and Jane Usher Boulevard and St. Martin de Porres, Lake Independence, have for instance come face to face with wild crocodiles in their neighborhoods, sometimes with disastrous consequences. This morning at around 5:30 a.m. an eight-foot crocodile was captured in the vicinity of Castle Street, not far from a local business. It was believed to have possibly crawled into the area from the vicinity of Belchina Bridge, where a stopped-up drain linking into the repaired North Front Street was believed to be its original home. It may have come out seeking food and shelter, but wound up getting wrangled and removed to another destination.
PLUS News spoke to the man who caught it, Derrick “Mighty” McKoy.
Derrick “Mighty” McKoy:
I got up this morning at 6:30. I was going to the meat shop, when I saw it in the drain. So I came and asked the Security to give me a hand to capture it.
It took about 20 minutes [to conquer it].
It’s about 8 feet [long].
It took two hours to move it. It came out the drain. It came from the left side across the street, and it want into the smaller ditch, but it couldn’t fit under the bridge. Right here it got stuck. We haul it back with a rope, and haul it up.
These are dangerous. I don’t know what to do [with it]. I can’t keep it here. The boss won’t allow it.
Belize’s resident crocodile experts, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES), were called in to take away the animal. According to rescue expert Will Moreno, the animal will be further observed after it was seen thrashing and bashing its head on the ground.
Wil Moreno – Belize Wildlife Conservation Emergency Response:
The crocodile is going to go to ACES which is a crocodile sanctuary. It’s a special place where they actually take care of the crocodile. Right now he needs some rehabilitation. He was actually bashing himself against the concrete there. It’s very important that they actually make sure he’s OK.
We actually need to protect the species that we have here in Belize. So it’s very important that we don’t even mess with the crocodiles. If you find one and you’re actually able to see one, it’s best for you to just go ahead and call the proper authorities, for them to come and pick it up.
Area residents Doroteo Zetina and Gilbert “Sabby” Nunez told PLUS News that they wished to see no harm come to neigborhood kids or dogs from the presence of the crocodile.
Gilbert “Sabby” Nunez
My buddy came and said to help him to tie the alligator, when they took it out of the drain there. When we tied it and took it out of the drain, we put over by the bakery, but the boss of the bakery didn’t like the idea, because it was there, there was a whole lot of crowd. So we pulled it back over here. From ever since, we have had it tie and thing, waiting for the people, we told them to call the Police and call the vet.