In 2009, Vince and Cherie captured three problematic American crocodiles in Ambergris Caye.
Photos courtesy of Tamara Sniffin from 'The San Pedro Sun,' & Croc Parasitologist Marisa Tellez.
The highly threatened American Crocodiles, Crocodylus acutus, in Ambergris Caye, Belize, are losing their nesting grounds. Acres of endangered Red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle, are being destroyed in the name of development. News Link
Dangerous crocodiles, because they have been illegally fed by locals for years, now have direct access to residents' yards and are laying under homes. Within an hour of arriving on the island, ACES Team of Vince and Cherie had caught a bold and fearless, trespassing croc. It was then transported by golf cart to Tamara's yard for safe keeping.
While surveying other nearby areas that same evening, ACES Team and Tamara found a small crocodile that had been beaten to death and left to rot by person(s). And then, at 2:00 am, Satan appeared out of nowhere during an eye-shine search. Having been for so long as a tourist attraction, the sound of a golf cart was his dinner bell. Satan was named by the locals because of his black coloration. News Link
We tied Satan up until we could get help to move him. The local San Pedro Police came to assist us. Satan was 11’8” and easily over 500 lbs. With no truck available at 3:00 am, we transported Satan by golf cart.
Vince had to tackle Satan in the middle of the road after he tail whipped me and Jem and jumped off the cart. We then rolled him onto a blanket and wrapped him up next the croc we had previously caught and named Tam Tam.
Bruised and battered, Vince and I awoke the next morning and by 9:00am had caught a third problematic crocodile, Papa Wiggles, at Ambergris Lake. With the help of friends, all three crocs were loaded on a truck; then, placed on a barge for a six hour ride to Belize City through the night and in the freezing rain. Vince and I road along on the barge and built a shelter out of crates for us and the crocs. Arriving in Belize City at 2:00 am we had to spend the night in an abandoned old container at the ship yard. Lying on a cardboard box in the mosquito and rodent infested container, I wondered if my husband, Vince, treated any of his past girlfriend’s this well. That morning at 8:00 am, local workers helped us load the three crocs for the four hour drive to ACES in Punta Gorda.
Finally reaching ACES after dark that day, exhausted, we left the crocs in culverts and nets on the truck for the night. In the morning, we unloaded them and placed them in their holding pens.
All three crocs unfortunately died from gun shot wounds during and the months following the arson of ACES by rioting villagers on Sept. 5, 2010. CNN Link for the details.