Conservationists Find ‘Critically Endangered’ Crocodile Dead in Belize Lagoon

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Conservationists found a massive crocodile floating with its belly up after it died in a Belize lagoon. This 11-foot crocodile was discovered on November 5 in the Placencia Lagoon by a fisherman. The Crocodile Research Coalition (CRC), a local nonprofit conservation group, was then notified. They then determined that the reptile had died between 48 and 72 hours earlier. How? It was as a result of swallowing a baited hook.

According to a Facebook post by the CRC said, “It is common practice for fishermen to use baited hooks to catch grouper, however, this form of fishing is indiscriminate (similar to gill nets) and other wildlife can be caught and killed.” We find out that the hooks can pierce through the crocodile’s stomach and other internal organs. It leads to a “slow and agonizing death,” the post added.

What You Didn’t Know About American Crocodiles

Now, American crocodiles happen to be one of the largest crocodile species. They can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh 2,000 pounds. A crocodile can live in river estuaries, coastal lagoons, and mangrove swamps and can tolerate both fresh and brackish waters. But crocodiles are thought to be considered critically endangered in Belize, according to the CRC. They are classified as vulnerable worldwide on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, Newsweek reports.

As for American crocodiles, very few genetically pure ones are left in Belize because of habitat loss, illegal hunting, and pollution. Many of the remaining individual ones are hybrids. “The last time this happened was in 2019 with a baited hook, as we mentioned [in the post]. It is illegal to hunt crocs in Belize. We likely won’t find out who did it,” Marisa Tellez, a crocodile specialist and founder of the CRC, told the outlet.

How about some more crocodile news for you? Did you hear about the 8-foot crocodile that wandered into a sleeping family’s home? This really did happen. According to Mirror, a person named Harnam Singh and his family were sleeping in their own home. It was located in Western Uttar Pradesh. The family heard goats bleating. When Singh got up to check on them, he came upon a frightful sight. Guess what it was? A large 8-foot croc was near his goats. The crocodile was getting friendly with the goats. But the family had to reckon with the animal itself. It was quite a surprise indeed for the family itself. Hey, possibly the animal itself didn’t like the family that much at all.