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Crocodile Research Coalition warns of poachers taking baby crocodiles

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Posted: Monday, June 29, 2020. 7:30 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Crocodile Research Coalition

By BBN Staff: The Crocodile Research Coalition (CRC) is asking Belizeans to assist in stopping the ongoing sale of baby crocodiles by reporting such activity to the authorities.

The CRC explained that the organization recently conducted nest surveys around the Placencia Lagoon to find nests with evidence of recently hatched crocodiles, but none of the hatchlings. Further investigation revealed that poachers have been going around selling the baby crocodiles for pets. The organization said that the practice undermines years of conservation work being done to preserve the endangered American Crocodile species that live in Belize.

Our newsroom spoke with Research Biologist Jonathan Triminio, who noted that the poachers removed the hatchings from a nature reserve, something which is expressly prohibited under the Laws of Belize. Triminio noted that there was even talk of the hatchlings being taken to be sold across the border in Guatemala.

“The American Crocodile is an endangered species and we are trying our best to protect these animals. There are only a few strongholds in Belize,” Triminio said. “These animals are protected by the Wild Life Protection Act, you can’t hunt them, sell them, eat them or whatever.”

Those with any knowledge of baby crocodiles being sold are encouraged to call the Forestry Department at 822-1524 or contact the CRC.

 

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