ACES First Rescued Crocodile ~ Snapper
Snapper was just a little over six feet when ACES rescued her. ACES received a call from the BFD in Belmopan, and without hesitation, loaded up the truck for the three hour drive north to the country’s capital for the crocodile. Snapper was a casualty of ‘Crocodile Creche.’ Established in the Corozal District of Belize somewhere around Sarteneja, ‘Crocodile Creche’ was an attempt by a researcher to implement an American crocodile ‘head start’ program in Belize.
Sadly the project's leader became terminally ill and the crocs were abandoned in the most horrific conditions. The BFD wished ACES to care for the largest croc that was left behind, a six foot female American Croc. ACES was told Snapper had been raised in captivity her entire life and the BFD as entrusting her to ACES because they approved of our intentions and facility thus far. On September 14, 2007, ACES had its first resident crocodile ~ Snapper.
Snapper was able to swim for the first time in her croc-life. Snapper's habitat at ACES in Punta Gorda was comprised of approximately 140,000 sqft natural habitat enclosed by over 1,500 ft of vinyl-coated, galvanized, chain link fencing; six to eight feet high with four PVC security floodgates which allow the natural flowing of fresh canal waters supplied by the Rio Grande River. Natural prey, such as fish, shrimp and crab, could freely enter the habitats, and natural wastes were removed twice a day with the ebb and flow of the tides. Crocs are quarantined prior to entering the facility. The habitats contain an estimated 56,000 sq ft of land and 84,000 sqft of surface water at an average of six feet in depth providing approximately 504,000 sq feet of water habitat. She shared this habitat with Satan, Xanadu, Tam Tam, and Debbie, all from San Pedro.
More about Snapper...this was such a cute shot, I had to share...the story is: this is Snapper in the quarantine holding pen before we relocated her into the natural croc habitat. Vince had went into the pen and laid out ropes for tying her up and this rag to cover her eyes to keep her calm. Vince came out of the pen to get something and while his back was turned, snapper snuck up and stole the rag and slipped back into the water... as if by stealing the cloth that was to cover her eyes she was going to avoid being caught. Crocs are very smart reptiles indeed. Needless to say, we did catch her and placed her into the large facility where she was able to swim freely for the first time in her life. Truly, my personal most rewarding rescue.
Snapper is believed to have escaped after the arson when looters started stealing fencing.