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Tortured and Left for Dead, ACES Rescues Corozal Croc April 19, 2010

Posted by San Pedro Sun in Uncategorized.
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    Last Thursday, April 15th, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) team, biologist Cherie Chenot-Rose and animal behaviorist Vince Rose, traveled from Punta Gorda to Corozal Town to rescue a captured crocodile. Traversing the entire length of the country in six hours, and stopping in Belmopan to pick up Wildlife Officer Rasheda Sampson of the Belize Forest Department they arrived at the scene of a brutal case of animal abuse.
    The croc, which had been in captivity for an estimated three weeks, was literally chained and locked to a nearby coconut tree where it lay in the surf of the Corozal Bay. Surrounded in seaweed and garbage, and eaten by sand fleas, the creature had been tormented for weeks by onlookers who managed to poke both its eyes out, shoot it in the head, pull out most of its teeth and was left to slowly die. Close to starvation and dehydrated from the lack of fresh water the animal demonstrated little resistance when the team proceed with their rescue. With no key to unlock the chained creature, measures were taken to break open the lock. On initial examination it was confirmed that the male croc was a freshwater Morelet’s Crocodile. It was speculated that it came from one of the two nearby rivers that empty into the bay. The animal was most likely looking for food in the bay area when it was captured and because it is essentially a fresh water animal the salinity of the bay water was an added hardship for the animal to endure while held captive on the beach.
    Once the croc was contained it was loaded into a large PVC culvert which was secured onto the flatbed of the ACES truck. The animal was then hosed down with fresh water to assure its comfort while traveling. Although it was uncertain if the animal would survive the drive back to Punta Gorda the ACES team decided, based on the survival stamina of crocodiles in general, that it was worth a try.
    Close to seven hours later they arrived in the dark to the ACES compound in Punta Gorda where the croc was unloaded into a solitary holding pen. Although blind and dazed the animal quickly moved into the fresh water pool where a chicken meal, fortified with vitamins and minerals was left in hopes that he would eat.
    On Friday the croc did not visibly show increased signs of stress but his injuries (especially the exit wound from where he was shot) continued to fester. With the chicken meal untouched, it was decided that if he did not eat in the next 24 hours they would have to resort to force feeding the animal.
    Unfortunately he did not eat and on Saturday morning the team contained the animal and inserted a large PVC tube into his mouth where they were able to shove pieces of chicken down the crocs throat. Hoping that once the croc had a meal he would find new strength to survive the plan is to wait until today and force feed him again. Based on research from previous rescues of injured crocs the ACES team has found that after a couple of forced meals the animal usually starts to eat again. If this croc, which was named Ripley after a recent donor to the ACES facility, does not start eating after the forced-feeding regiment the team, with permission from the Belize Forest Department,  may decide to euthanize the animal.
    Although injured beyond any possibility of wild relocation, the ACES team hopes that if Ripley can return to good health he can live out his life serving his species as a means of educating the public about the horrors of animal abuse as well as crocodilian conservation.
    Two species of crocodiles reside in Belize, the American Crocodile and Morelet’s, and both are currently listed as endangered under the United States Endangered Species Act and are also considered threatened by the Coastal Zone Management Program, Department of Fisheries, and the Government of Belize due to a number of threats.
   The San Pedro Sun will continue to report on Ripley’s status and you can read more about this story in Thursday’s issue. For more information about ACES please visit their website at www.americancrocodilesanctuary.org

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Letty Lara to compete for Miss World Belize 2009 and/or Miss Earth Belize 2009 September 24, 2009

Posted by San Pedro Sun in Beauties.
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    This Saturday, September 26th, Corozal Town will come alive as it is the first District to host the Finals of the biggest beauty pageant in Belize. Competing for two coveted titles, Miss World Belize 2009 and Miss Earth Belize 2009, the young delegates will showcase beauty and brains for the excited crowd.

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    This year representing San Pedro is beauty Norma Leticia “Letty” Lara who reigned as Miss San Pedro for the year 2005/06. A graceful dancer, Letty will certainly make La Isla Bonita proud as she follows the footsteps of her sister Ceci, who was also a former beauty queen.

    With Letty in participation, other participants certainly will have to put their best forward. Letty is going for the crown and the Corozal Andres Campos Civic Center will be the place where it will all happen. The winning delegates will travel to London and Johannesburg, South Africa for a month where they will compete for the 59th edition of the Miss World final scheduled for December 12th.

    A press release issued by the Miss World committee, South Africa also happens to be the location for this year’s World Cup and the delegates of the Miss World Pageant will be showcased in that event, as well.

    Corozal will be a flurry of activity as the top 10 applicants will also have the opportunity to compete for local titles such as Miss Beach Beauty, Miss Top Model, as well as prize packages such as Shell Free Zone’s $3,000 scholarship, a $5,000 prize package from Five Star La Perla del Caribe Resort in San Pedro Town. This year’s theme for the pageant will be Belizean Rainforest meets African Jungle and Gilharry 7 has been set as the performers for the coronation dance.

    For more information call 600 – 8932 or 623 – 4672 or visit www.PageantsBelize.com for an update soon.