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Aug 29, 2006

“Crocodile fishing” is newest tourist attraction

Story PictureAs a community, San Pedro has led Belize’s tourism boom but tonight we feature the story of a group of young men who have combined crocodiles, chicken and a little bit of insanity to create a tourist attraction like no other. News Five’s Alyssa Noble reports.

Alyssa Noble, Reporting
San Pedro has always been a fishing town but the newest attraction to hit the island is all about chicken and crocodiles. Dario Espinoza is the ?Crocodile fisherman?, a post he?s held for the last four years.

Dario Espinoza, Crocodile Kisser
?I am going to start tying the chicken and then from there we will throw it in the water to lure them in. They come closer, then after that they just start eating. You will have one of them come upfront and then after the big ones will come around. SO let?s start tying the chicken.?

Alyssa Noble
?So is chicken the crocodile?s favourite food or bait??

Dario Espinoza
?They normally feed on the chicken because the meat is soft. They are use to getting feed everyday.?

Alyssa Noble
?They eat birds from around the area too??

Dario Espinoza
?Yeah, normally if they are not fed they go after the birds and catch their own meal.?

Alyssa Noble
?What are you going to do now??

Dario Espinoza
?I?m just going to throw the chicken in the water to let them see, so they can start eating.?

Alyssa Noble
?So it?s basically like you?re fishing for crocks??

Dario Espinoza
?Yeah, something like that.?

Alyssa Noble
?You want to tell me a little bit more about how you first start doing this??

Dario Espinoza
?I started like four years ago. It started first with just watching because they use to have another that use to do it but he use to just throw the chicken and stay far. But then I start doing more crazy stuff like going closer and just feeding them. I thought it would be fun having people watch that and more fun than other stuff.?

Alyssa Noble
?You?re role model by chance wouldn?t be Steve Irwin the crocodile guy??

Dario Espinoza
?Something like that.?

And though Espinoza does it for fun, he also does it for the money.

Dario Espinoza
?Sometimes you make good tips. It depends if the tourist like you a lot they will give you a nice tip, but sometimes you don?t make anything. You just do it for fun. But the tips are pretty good sometimes.?

Tourist #1
?It was exciting. I thought the feeder was very courageous grabbing it by the tail. I don?t think I can do that, so it was pretty exciting. I haven?t seen one up this close before. I?ve seen them in zoos back in Canada, but never this close in wild like this.?

Tourist #2
?I don?t think it will attack me. He got really close to it.?

Alyssa Noble
?Would you get in there after it??

Tourist #2
?No!?

The show rotates around the lagoon but the action never stops.

Alyssa Noble
?How did that feel just now? How was that like??

Dario Espinoza
?It is really nice. Just playing with the crocs that is more adventurous than any other thing.?

And while Espinoza doesn?t want you to try this at home, he has gotten a following and every day, he holds class in crocodile fishing 101.

Reporting for News Five, I am Alyssa Noble.

If you would like to see the crocodile show, just show up at the lagoon near the water treatment plant on the southern end of Ambergris Caye around four every day.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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