August 9, 2009

The Honduran crocodile crisis

Juancho the crocodile, HondurasJuancho the crocodile

Sorry, I couldn't resist that headline. Taking a break from the democratic crisis to report on the crocodile crisis. ;-)

Juancho the pet crocodile lived the good life for 10 years and now he is going back to the wild.

Kept as a family pet since he was about 6 months old, Juancho lived with the Marcos Hernández family among the children and three dogs in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, with no problems, even with the neighbors. "Since they were little, my children were fond of him, to the point that my younger daughter swam in the pool with Juancho and petted his head because he liked to be spoiled," said don Marcos. "Every now and then, he would sit at the gate to watch the people going by."

"Though he is not aggressive, he deserves to live in his natural habitat," said the daughter of don Marcos.

Juancho was transferred by Funapa (National Foundation for the Protection of Animals) to a natural enclosure at Laguna Ticamaya. La Prensa has a short video of his capture here. Here is hoping that Juancho knows how to protect himself and find food after 10 years in captivity. Good luck, Juancho!


I can't help but mention a couple of the clever reader comments on the La Prensa article. Chepe suggested that Funapro transfer ten crocodiles to the Nicaraguan border to deal with Mel Zelaya should he decide to cross again.

Another reader expressed concern about how the crocodile would survive put into the natural habit without the necessary skills to survive without the help of humans. "He is accustomed to being fed without working," wrote Robbie, adding that any similarity to striking Honduran teachers was purely unintentional.
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