I spy with my little eye… crocodiles! The big guy is back! I haven’t spotted him in about a year, but this morning on my jog I saw him (or maybe it’s a her?) in the lagoon near Turtle Inn (an enchanting Coppola Family Resort I’ve written about before here).
I’d nearly stopped scanning the area because it’s been such a long time since I’ve seen the lovely and elusive reptile. This morning, from the road, I spied a “log” moving with purpose across the channel. Moving quicker than the non-existent current, when I looked more closely I saw ridges on this “log.” Closer still, a black and tan scaly patterned ridge- a big iguana taking a morning swim? No, it wasn’t moving like an iguana, it was a deliberate albeit lackadaisical journey towards the shade of the mangroves. Inching as close as I could I recognized the “log” as a pretty BIG crocodile. Close to 7 feet by my estimation!
Yes, as my friend Marissa will tell you, we DO have crocodiles in the Placencia Lagoon and surrounding habitats. No, this is NOT problematic or dangerous for the people sharing this space. Dr. Marissa Tellez of the Crocodile Research Coalition assures us that humans and crocs can happily co-exist here by continuing conservation efforts throughout Belize and practicing safe wildlife interactions in our communities.
Marissa chose Placencia as her non-profit’s basecamp location because of it’s unique ecological zone. Our lagoon is not only a habitat for American Crocodiles but also for Morelet’s Crocodiles- the two species’ habitats overlap here make the Placencia Lagoon a rare and significant area for research and preservation. Two types of crocs- how neat is that?!
*all the photos I’ve used here I stole directly from the CRC’s facebook page because any pics of crocodiles I would get would look like logs. Check them out and follow the amazing work they’re doing