American Crocodile Education Sanctuary relocated a rescued American crocodile named “Jaws” from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, to his new home at ACES’s Crocodile Sanctuary on the mainland. Jaws, A healthy adult male, was rescued by ACES in 2011 and was unable to successfully survive in the wild due to a human-inflicted injury. Already healed at the time ACES rescued him, Jaws’s lower jaw had been apparently chopped by a machete and broken when he was a juvenile.
ACES states, “Fixing his jaw would entail a risky surgery which would likely not mend due to crocodiles’ strong bite force; hence, Jaws will need to remain in captivity.” Jaws is an internationally famous crocodile having appeared on National Geographic, Poland, in 2013 while filming episode on ACES’s crocodile conservation efforts in Belize.
Expert Crocodile Behaviorist and Co-Founder of ACES, Vincent Rose led the relocation. ACES’s assistant Crocodile Conservationist Chris Summers, prepared Jaws for his journey and escort the infamous crocodile to the mainland.
Water transportation for Jaws was generously provided by Belize’s Quality Poultry Products, Ltd., and arrived at Quality Poultry’s docks in Belize City on Wednesday, January 11, 2016 around 2:30pm where he was picked up by Vince Rose and transported via truck to ACES’s newest crocodile sanctuary located at The Rainforest Adventure Zone (RAZ), David Gegg’s newest eco-attraction in Sandhill.
Jaws’s brand-new, natural, secure habitat was made possible by a generous donation from ACES’s annual benefactor La Fondation Brigitte Bardot (FBB), France.
La Fondation Brigitte Bardot “is happy to help with the funding needed for the building of enclosures for rescued crocodiles, and supports ACES endeavours to save and to take care of crocodiles in Belize.”
In 1986, Brigitte Bardot sold her home and jewelry and founded La Foundation Brigitte Bardot (FBB) for the welfare and protection of domestic and wild animals. Fighting and defending animal rights, the foundation acts to heighten awareness, inform, relieve, and save animals around the world. Today, FBB is the leading animal protection NGO in France.
Crocodiles are apex predators, which are essential to the health of the World’s ecosystems. American crocodiles, typically a shy, timid species, become problematic when humans directly or indirectly feed them. Considered to be as rare as Polar bears, American crocodile numbers are drastically declining in Belize.
Founded in 2006, ACES is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of Belize’s critical wetland habitats and protected species through scientific research and education in order to preserve wildlife for future generations.
ACES is Belize’s only crocodile rescue program operating under a three year Memorandum of Understanding with the Belize Forest Department (BFD), Ministry of Natural Resources. ACES responds to crocodile calls country-wide and works with both of Belize’s species: the saltwater American crocodile, Crocodylus acutus, and the freshwater Morelet’s crocodile, C. moreletii.
ACES’s number one goal is human safety. Nuisance crocs are relocated while problematic crocs, those that are more aggressive, have attacked people/pets, or repeatedly return to a populated area, are placed into captivity. The BFD stated that, “this newly formed partnership between ACES and RAZ will institute an essential, educational, crocodile refuge at Mile 16 along the Phillip Goldson Highway for the short, medium, and long term protection of rescued Morelet’s and American crocodiles in Belize.” ACES thanks all those involved, “Your Help Takes a Bite Out of Extinction!”