Headline — 11 April 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego
Killer croc captured

The hunt for a crocodile that attacked and killed Benque Viejo resident Carl Diaz, 56, while he was fishing in a waterway in Lords Bank, Ladyville, at about 4:00 p.m. Monday afternoon, is over.

The male Morelet crocodile, which weighs about 550 pounds and has a length of about 11 feet, with part of its tail missing, is being held at ACES, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) in Ladyville, and it is expected to be humanely put to death by the authorities.

The hunt for the vicious crocodile began on Tuesday evening after it killed Diaz. Vince Rose, a crocodile expert, told Amandala in an interview this afternoon that after a hunt for the animal that continued throughout last night, it was spotted at about 10:00 this morning near a hole in the area.

The team had to dig out the crocodile, but it was not an easy task, because the beast had dug in tightly in the hole, and they also had to contend with its powerful jaws.

Police, who were a part of the hunt, fired three shots at its head from a police .38 Special revolver, but the crocodile did not appear to be hurt. Rose said that he managed to put a loop around its mouth and the team dragged it out of its hole. He then jumped on the croc and managed to tie its legs, immobilizing him.

Rose said that he was sure that this was the croc that had killed Diaz. It was the only croc around the area where Diaz was killed. The croc had been aggressive. It had charged at him when he went into the water, which made him very sure that he had the right croc.

Rose said that the crocodile cannot be relocated, because it has already killed a man. Moreover, he said, the Crocodile Sanctuary is filled, and putting this croc into a sanctuary would be risky, because if it escaped, there would be terrible consequences, so it is expected that it will be put to the death.

On Monday, at about 3:00 p.m., police, about 900 feet south-west of the Green Estate property in Lords Bank, found the body of a Hispanic man lying face-down in a water channel with the right foot almost severed, and a huge irregular wound on the right leg, and three bite marks were on the left foot.

The body was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where Diaz was pronounced dead at 6:02 p.m.

Police said that a man of the Spanish Town area of Lords Bank was walking in the area to go fishing when he heard a noise coming from the water channel and upon investigation, he saw a man being dragged down into the channel by a large crocodile.

The man began to make loud noises, and the crocodile released the man and swam away. Rose urges fishermen not to clean fish near the waterway, or leave fish guts in the area, or throw food into the water or practice any similar habits that could attract the predatory reptile.

He said that crocodiles are wild, and they will keep away if they are not fed in any way.

Rose said that ACES is assisting in educating the public, and urges fishermen and people cleaning fish to sell the fish parts and guts to ACES, rather than throwing it away into the waterway; doing so will earn those who sell the parts, extra money, and at the same time could help ACES to avoid spending additional funds on chickens to feed the crocodiles.

Carl Diaz was the only breadwinner in his family, and leaves behind to mourn, his five children and his wife.

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