Meet Thor. Thor is an American crocodile who has been deemed a nuisance due to approaching people, behavior we typically see in fed crocodiles. Though residents of the homes in the area where he was living swear to never have directly fed Thor, the surrounding areas tell a different story.
We were told by the residents to go walk into the marshy area behind their homes, as that is where we are going to find the crocodile. When we walked back there, we did not find the crocodile, but we did find a reason this croc may be seeking out people and highly populated areas - household trash was being dumped to fill in the marsh. House hold trash usually contains food scraps, which to a crocodile is like a fast food restaurant. They can smell the rotting meats and fish from quite a distance and will seek out that quick easy meal. If the dumping continues and the meals continue, the croc may end up taking residence there, and slowly start losing fear of the people who live in the area.
Thor's capture was very quick. We secured him, took data, and released him in an area where he is more likely to find his natural food source, clean water, and mazes of mangroves to move through. We hope the stress of the capture discourages Thor from seeking out people for a source of food, but it is crucial we keep up our side of the deal if we expect him stay wild with his natural fear of people. Please practice respect for our ecosystem and local wildlife. Discard trash in a sealed garbage bin so it does not cause harm or encourage change in widlife's natural behavior. We live in a beautiful country with so many unique species. We owe it to them, as their neighbor, to find ways to harmoniously coexist for the future of Belize's biodiversity!