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Apr 8, 2014

Benque man is mauled by a crocodile; search party combs the area for the reptile

Carl Diaz Sr.

More details are available tonight on how a crocodile mauled a resident at a pond at Green Estates in the Lord’s Bank area on Monday afternoon. It is a rare occurrence—the only other reported case was back in 2001 in the Belama area. Today, a search party combed the compound looking for clues on how forty-seven year old Carl Diaz Senior met his death. It is established that the Benque Viejo resident would set out to fish in the area, but it went awfully wrong for him when he was viciously attacked by a crocodile. A group of children saw when the reptile dragged Diaz into the water. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

This morning, a search party of about a dozen men, largely made up by residents of Lord’s Bank, deployed into an area within Green Estates, believed to be the habitat of a man-eating crocodile.

 

Bert Ramos, Vice Chairman, Lord’s Bank Village

“It’s a very dangerous area.  Now that we found out what happened yesterday we realized that it’s very, very dangerous.”

 

Carl Diaz Jr.

Their pursuit of this apex predator succeeds the death of forty-seven-year-old Carl Diaz Sr., who was presumably mangled by the giant reptile sometime on Monday afternoon.

 

Carl Michael Diaz Jr., Son of Deceased

“I just heard that he was killed by an alligator.  Only, as far as I know, only that I know.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“I notice you guys have mobilized a party to come into this area to either look for the crocodile or to try to see what else may have been in the area that could have been a telltale sign of what happened.”

 

Carl Michael Diaz Jr.

“Yes, because we are trying to find [out] how it happened, which animal or how much, that’s why we di [ya with dih] search party.”

 

A keen angler, Diaz would frequent the expansive network of manmade ponds and waterways to catch tilapia and other freshwater fish.  Around three o’clock, Ladyville police were summoned to the area where they observed the lifeless body of a man, later identified as Carl Michael Diaz.  His right foot was mauled to an extent where it was almost severed from the rest of the lower extremity.  A large, irregular wound was also seen on the same leg; three punctures akin to bite marks on the left foot.

 

Bert Ramos

Bert Ramos

“If it wasn’t because of the kids who came yesterday to go and swim or maybe fishing or so maybe we wouldn’t have found that guy.  That guy would have been taken away but, like I said, it’s an area, a residential area, people come in and come out.  Kids come and bathe, older people come and bathe.  So, at the time when these kids came and bathe and saw this croc hauling away this guy that could definitely tell you that from di time ih ker one, ih could ker more.”

 

Diaz’s wife and children are still coming to terms with the tragedy.  He was just with them the day before when he left home in Benque Viejo del Cermen en route to the village for work.

 

Felipa Estella Diaz

Felipa Estella Diaz, Wife of Deceased

“My niece called me and tell me em, “Aunty, Uncle Carl dead.  Di crocodile kill ahn.”  Ah tell ahn, “You liad Monica, da noh true.”  Ih seh, “Yes tia.”  Then a next person call me and tell me, “gial da true, Carl dead.”  Ah tell ahn ah cyant believe because Carl like fish and usually affa dat he live too.”

 

It is strongly believed that Diaz was killed by either of two crocodilian species native to Belize, the Morelet’s or the American crocodile.  A thorough comb of this territory has produced the skeletal remains of a dog, quite likely the meal of whatever is haunting the area.

 

Bert Ramos

“This morning when ah get up ah call di Ladyville police, ah discuss it with di Ladyville police.  Ah then call di Audubon Society which then directed me to the Forestry Department.  The Forestry Department then said to me that they will be here by ten this morning.  Well, it’s already half past ten and they haven’t reached as yet but I am still hoping that the Forestry Department comes in and then that’s the time when we’re going to make a move.  We can’t make a move without the Forestry Department because I’m looking at the safety of the rest of guys who will be going in there with me.  So, with the Forestry Department and their techniques then we’re going in there and see what we could do and try to capture this animal from out here.”

 

For Felipa Diaz, the loss of her husband is especially hard since he promised to relocate the family once he landed a job.

 

Felipa Estella Diaz

“Sunday like four o’clock da morning he said, “Babes I gwein da Ladyville because he mi suppose to start wah job with NEMO and ih say when I get paid I will send you money. but I will hustle and send you a lee bit of some money because dah from dat we live.”

 

His first night as a security officer for the National Emergency Management Organization would have been tonight. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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