7 News Belize

Monster Croc Captured in Residential Neighborhood
posted (March 14, 2017)
Belama Phase 2 residents can finally walk about freely after a 10 foot crocodile was captured this morning. It has been terrorizing the neighborhood for months. But one resident couldn't take it any longer and made countless pleas on social media. Well, the Forestry Department and the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary answered her call. They teamed up and captured the crocodile before dawn. Crocodile Conservationist Chris Summers told us how he roped up the reptile and restored peace in the community. City Councilor Phillip Willoughby also discussed some of the works that will be done in the area to ward off other crocs lurking in the nearby canal.

Chris Summers, Crocodile Conservationist, ACES
"We caught him this morning at around 4:40 am, we were up here early because it seems to be his pattern that he crosses this way at night at about 7:00 and he comes back around 5:00 so we were all here last night ,the forestry department and me and another conservationist and he crossed the road and we missed him so we chased him and we came back this morning to see if we can get him and we got here just in time as he was about to cross the road and I had a rope set up so as soon as he came across, we roped him and it was game on."

Courtney Weatherburne, 7News
"And you guys set up a trap last night as well but that really didn't factor into him being captured this morning."

Chris Summers, Crocodile Conservationist, ACES
"Yeah forestry department came yesterday with the trap you see out here and he just ignored it, straight up ignored it."

Courtney Weatherburne
"How large is this crocodile?"

Chris Summers
"He is about 10 feet. This is the one that was causing the concerns, 100 percent guaranteed, this is the target croc we were after."

Elsie Heusner, Belama Phase 2 Resident
"If you are in your car if you are walking you are scared you know so I didn't know what to do, I went on Facebook, Buy and Sell and I started to make awareness to the Belizean public and that is where Phillip Willoughby decided that he would step in."

Courtney Weatherburne
"Now you see it here, it's all tied up, all secured, its being taken away I am sure you are relieved."

Elsie Heusner
"Well I am very relieved but I just hope they can come back and get the others too but I am so thankful today I am so happy about this."

Phillip Willoughby, City Councillor
"I was briefed by the residents that these animals take shade under the mangrove and other plant vegetation so what we will need to do is probably do some maintenance within the canal like what we are doing down by Belama 4 and 5 within the flood mitigation project and then we go from there, we have requested that the trap remain with us in our care for a short period of time."

Courtney Weatherburne
"Because I understand the residents say there may be others, other crocodiles."

Phillip Willoughby
"Yes so to give the residents a sense of comfort, a peace of mind, let's leave the trap and keep the communication lines open so that if there is another sighting of these animals acting irrational within your community or where you live then we can again connect with the different agencies to capture the animal."

Chris Summers, Crocodile Conservationist, ACES
"We are very lucky here that this is actually quite a timid species,as far as crocodiles go, so simple things like staying away from the water at dusk and dawn and as you said, not feeding crocodiles, that is a major one if you feed them they lose their fear of human beings and that is how people get attacked so that is a major, major one right there."

The crocodile will be taken to the sanctuary in Ladyville. The residents in the area also helped in capturing the crocodile. Again residents are strongly advised NOT to feed the crocodiles and to report any croc sightings. You can call the Crocodile Conservationist Chris Summers at 623-7920.

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