Saturday, October 15, 2011

A crocodile rescue

When Miguel arrived at the land yesterday this is what he found in one of the cisterns of the house.
We had not agreed to set a trap for the crocodile yet the guys wanting to help,  took it upon themselves to do so, and so we ended up with a crocodile in a cage and no where to take him.
It was really very sad, the poor guy, scared and trapped, yet very calm.
This past week I had talked to another organic farmer who said that in his experience this kind of crocodile is not aggressive, in fact locals around his farm in Belize generally do not hesitate to swim in rivers where these crocs live. The kinds of crocodiles native to these parts are the American crocodile, which is a saltwater crocodile and this kind is considered quite aggressive and reports of human attacks are not rare, these guys are not found as far inland as where we are, rather closer to the oceans where fresh and salt water mix. What we have here is the Morelet's crocodile, these guys live in swampy areas
such as ours and are not considered very dangerous, although reports of human attacks have occurred.
 This crocodile was a juvenile, about a year old we guessed, and besides one time making a quick jerk of his head and snapping at us, remained very calm throughout the entire ordeal.
I felt an immense sense of compassion for this creature, there he was trapped and scared, you could see his chest moving with his heartbeat, and when looking into his eyes it was so obvious that he was just like us, wanting to live and be left in peace. Just another living being.
He definitely felt threatened and once out of the cistern his mouth opened, showing us his teeth ready to attack I am guessing, and yet at his young age not able to do much harm.
I love this picture, creature to creature connecting through a simple touch of the hands.

 The children were obviously fascinated, they got to touch a real wild crocodile, and found his skin surprisingly soft not at all tough as it appears.

 Off we went, we decided that rather than to leave him trapped for days while we find someone who can move him (being that he was trapped before we had arranged all the details) we simply moved him a couple of miles into the jungle where no one lives and where there is also water.
 Of course nothing is as simple as just that here, and in the pouring rain, 
(it has been a constant downpour here for three days now), 
the boys had to push start the truck to get it running.
 Keenan was very proud to be helping release the crocodile back into the wild, 
his kind is after all an endangered species and we were happy to be able to help save him rather than the crew frying him up on the BBQ, which they would have liked to.

 At this point the picture quality seriously diminishes as the rain had reached the point of torrential downpour and the wind was picking up, still our spirits were high as we set him down and watched him  gratefully slip back into his natural habitat.
Even the guys, who without our interference would have eaten him, 
couldn't help but feel that we were doing the very best and right thing.
It was a special moment and I am proud to have taken part in it.
I only wish that he might live a long healthy life, being harmed by no one and harming no one in return.



  1. What a wonderful experience for your children, to see this beautiful creature set free! :)

  2. ooooh! great story christina! i showed ezra and told him what you were doing and he said, "they rescued him!" so cool. great feeling for all and something you'll never forget! i love the hand holding picture too and the one of kaleena petting him. i thought maybe those were orbs in the last photographs - but i suppose they're raindrops. cool either way.

  3. I am sure you feel more at peace now that he's a little further away. The building is pretty. I didn't know you had to share it with others. I hope all works out.

  4. Hi Christina. My name is Jerry Litton, friend of Jim Conrad. I'm in USA, Mississippi, Jackson. I go to swamps in my canoe. I see lots of Alligators. In ever swamp I go I am always outnumbered and out sized by them and have gotten close to them usually by accident, I prefere to give them the same space I need, to keep safe, and I visit the swamp, don't live there full time like they do so that is their home, not mine. Thank you for turning the Crocodile loose, we are better of with them in the water than we would be with them not there, also for every thing that is suppose to be in this world, we are better of with it like it was in the beginning. We humans are a small part somewhere in the middle of nature and it is suppose to be that way.The greatest acknowledgement we can give God, is an environmental stewardship attitude of appreciation and care.

  5. This is a wonderful story. That feeling of having the power to be merciful - and then actually BEING it - it's a great feeling. Being the hands of God for another creature of whatever kind. I really loved Jerry's comment. And I agree with him. We are more likely in this house to carry even insects out of the house rather than to end their lives. I envy you this experience, and I am so glad that the children got to touch him and speak to him. His world and ours do not do well together. But with distance, there is room for both.

  6. Even so. I am glad you won't let the children swim in the cenote. It only takes one odd condition to change life forever, and I never put my children at risk.


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