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Nov 18, 2010

Crocodile is the latest Photo Celeb

It is a sight to behold, a sixty five year old crocodile that has become hugely popular. The crocodile is so friendly that it turned into a tourist attraction at the Lamanai Riverside Retreat in Orange Walk. At twelve feet in length, the reptile comes easily to shore to greet guests and friends and overtime has become like a family pet. News Five Delahnie Bain also found that Bob is fond of cameras. Here’s her report.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

When you think of crocodiles, the image of a man eating creature as shown in movies often comes to mind. But the Pelayo family at the Lamanai Riverside Retreat are hoping to change that stereotype with a twelve foot croc named Bob.

Lance Pelayo, Tour Guide, Lamanai Riverside Retreat

“You do see crocodiles flowing by. There’s one crocodile in particular; his name is Bob, he’s about sixty-five years old, he’s about twelve feet in length. He comes around and for the Lamanai Riverside Retreat he is a tourist attraction himself. Bob is an amazing creature. He’s a friend to the family then, he’s like a pet. We can pet him, touch him, he does a couple stuffs. He comes out lays on the grass, opens his mouth—he loves cameras, he takes pictures.”

Bob is only one of about fifteen crocs that have been regular visitors at Lamanai since it opened fifteen years ago.

lance pelayo

Lance Pelayo

“It started with I guess my dad. Crocodiles used to come along and people were scared of swimming in the river. I guess it was crazy bet back in the days with friends and when we swim across they say hey man can you go across the river and from then we never got scared of them again.  We just tagged them to see the size. It’s not like we go out every time and tag them in river like annually. Just occasionally we mark them so that when they come back we know who’s who and how big he’s grown from then.”

But according to Lance Pelayo, the reptiles are no longer safe in the river because they are targeted by other residents.

Lance Pelayo

“There were other crocodiles that use to come around but right now the people are, I guess they’re damaging the creatures because we found one of the crocodiles floating over there the last time and his head was decapitated and that was a huge crocodile. Right now people come up to them, the throw things at them, they took out one of Bob’s eyes. Back in the days we had another one that used to come around, Felipe. He was much bigger and somebody shot him.  I got a picture of my little brother there swimming with one of the crocodiles. You can see how harmless they are but like I said, all wild animals they do tend to have a tendency that they can react at any moment. But as long as they don’t feel threatened by you, they won’t bring you no harm.”

Pelayo says he’s been up close and personal with crocs up to sixteen feet large and was never harmed. So he has a message for those who started hunting his friends.

Lance Pelayo

“They’re amazing animals. You look at them, you see it and you know it. They are very beautiful when you look at them close up. A lot of people are scared of them but try not to hurt them. They’re not doing you any harm—I don’t think the crocodile will come out and go in your house and eat you right so let em be and don’t go into their house. Simple as that.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

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9 Responses for “Crocodile is the latest Photo Celeb”

  1. rootsman says:

    Pelayo you must be real special, no crocodiles are tame they are just daring and can bring down a wilder beast so my advice would be to keep the public away from them unless you want to have a crisis on your hand.

  2. RadicalBelizean says:

    Lance you are a very brave man. I admire your enthusiasm for your work with in our tourism industry and with the crocs. Keep up the good work.

  3. christino says:

    i bet if the cracadile eat the idiot dat !@#$ around him. the law would wanna kill the poor animal. like the jaguar.

  4. love the wild animals says:

    these crac are a way too unique animals and it takes bravery to be around these precious animal, i love the way u dedicated ur time into these amimals, but much care is requeired, because these animal are wild and there instinct is to be wild, keep doing what ur good at and be careful, i really admire u.

  5. Massive says:

    When u seh we can touch him(alligator) Lance padna u deh pan u own pan dah one deh no me an dem creatures at all. hmm maybe dah lie u d tell fi look good, u don seh it soh u d shine noh r@ss homie. memba when we eat some stew alligata couple years ago,no play like u noh remember u suck up the meat affa the bone like dah chicken u midi eat greedy

  6. Stone says:

    I think what you just did was to make all belizeans aware of the beautiful creatures lurking in our rivers. foreigners come to belize to experience close encounters with our wildlife. I bet you make a living out of what you do. We have all these animals in our country and we are foolish not know anything about them. Keep up the good work Lance and practice caution.

  7. Reds says:

    Nice, but at all times we cant forget that theses creatures have survived for so many years, the are prehistoric, and how did they survive, they are killers, so be careful..

  8. Earl Grey says:

    ALL IS WELL AND GOOD…………………..until they get hungry and you are the only thing in sight.

  9. lance Pelayo says:

    i do not know who said that we eat croc. stew he is a fool . and to stone no bro i do not make a live off this if you read any of the hand book for Belize u will find that Lamanai River Side Retreat says nothing about the Crocodiles it talks about my rooms and how amazing my food is so its up to you to come and see for your self and come and enjoy …

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