As the Vice Regional Chair of the IUCN/SSC-Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) of Latin America, I am constantly reaching out to various organizations and researchers throughout Central America and the Caribbean to be updated about any news crocodilian. In the last week, I unfortunately was notified by a colleague in Honduras, as well as an organization, that a crocodile farm in Honduras was hit with some financial hardship, and now 9000 crocodiles were possibly going to die of starvation as they had no food for about 40 days plus (for the full story, look at the links below). An awful animal welfare seemed to be developing, and I immediately contacted some of the “Elders” of the CSG to see what we could do to assist. We are currently working and talking with each other to figure out a solution before the problem gets worse. We are doing our best to reach out to the appropriate authorities. I can say as the Vice Regional Chair, we are working on a solution, and trying to work fast. I recently read that the crocodiles have just been fed, but something more permanent needs to be done.
But besides the crocodiles, we also have to remember the local community who is being negatively impacted. Many people who have worked at the farm for years have not been paid, thus families are now suffering, trying to scramble for money for rent and food. Unfortunately, a lot of “conservationists,” “animal activists,” and/or “animal lovers” forget about the good people who also suffer from the misfortunes of animal mistreatment, poaching, etc. If we are to ever find a balance between nature and man, we can not forget our fellow man. As much as we want to help these crocodiles, we also must try to help out those who have come to care for these crocodiles for so long.
So as awful as this is for conservation of a Threatened species, we can not forget about the local community who is also impacted. Crossing fingers for a quick resolution once the CSG has contacted the appropriate authorities. Stay tuned…