Crocodiles in Belize: The fierce animals in need of protection | Global Ideas | DW | 12.02.2020
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Crocodiles in Belize: The fierce animals in need of protection

Crocodiles may have a fearsome reputation, but are worth protecting: They are threatened by pollution, illegal hunting and habitat loss. One organization is trying to provide a safe haven for injured animals.

Watch video 07:13

Belize: Lobbying for crocodiles

Project goal: The non-governmental organizationCrocodile Research Coalition (CRC) works in Belize to protect crocodiles and their habitats. They also raise awareness about peaceful coexistence between the animals and local communities.

Project implementation: CRC supports crocodiles that are injured or in need of help, with the aim of eventually releasing them back into the wild. For crocodiles that are unable to be released, they are looked after at the NGO's Crocodile Protection Center. CRC is also supporting the government in developing an appropriate protection plan for the animals in the country.

Partners: CRC works with the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic and the Belize Zoo, among others. Both institutions support CRC with veterinary care. CRC also works with other organizations in Central America to form a network for crocodile protection.

Crocodiles might have a fierce reputation, but in Belize the animals and their habitats are under threat from construction, polluted water and illegal hunting. Many can be found in the country's rivers, where they are often a source of fear for local communities. Some of the population also consider them a delicacy and hunt them for their meat.

CRC's Marisa Tellez says every crocodile is worth protecting. She and her colleagues are giving them space to recover from injury. Lobbying for their protection has also become a central part of Tellez's work.

A film by Katja Döhne

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