Did you know we have our own CSI Belize?Â Crocodile Scientific Investigators.
We have our fare share of crocodiles in Belize and the CSI Belize adventure crew are the perfect people to take you up close and personal. You learn a lot about croc life on Ambergris Caye and mainland Belize. In fact while taking the tour, I learned so muchÂ information about crocodiles that there will be a part 2 coming on this post.
The ACES/CSI Belize adventure is very educational experience and highly necessary. With an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 wild American crocodiles [Crocodylus acutus] left World-wide. Aces, short for American Crocodile Education Sanctuary not only protects these magnificent reptiles in Belize, but conducts scientific research and educates local communities to help save human lives.
The Belize forestry department has put in place strict rules and regulations regarding Crocodiles. It is unlawful to feed, touch, harass, molest, or kill crocodiles. It is illegal to have crocs or any parts of them including teeth, meat, hide, skulls, or bones in your possession without the proper permits, all of which is punishable by fines up to $500BZ for the first offense and a fines of up to $1000BZ or imprisonment for the second offense. Keep that in mind when someone is trying to sell you that cool looking crocodile tooth necklace.
Four Fun Crocodile facts
-Â Crocodile’s are the only known animal to actively control their heart valves, making it easy for them to submerge underwater for long periods of time.
– Crocodiles have a closed circulatory system, a 4 chambered heart and they are more closely related to birds than to lizards. They cannot regenerate their tail like some locals might tell you.
– Crocodiles are the only reptile with a developed cerebral cortex enabling them to retain memory, study their prey and plan an attack.
-Â Crocodile tongues are attached, so they can’t stick it out. The back of their tongue covers their throat, called a gular valve, so they can open their mouth underwater without drowning.
Three good reasons to take the CSI Belize Crocodile Adventure
– 80% of your trip money goes crocodile research & rehabilitation, rescue and releases.Â Â You are helping crocodile experts, biologists and volunteers to rescue crocodiles that are ill, injured, problematic or being held illegally captive, often under inhumane conditions. Your trip money is also helping build the ACES Wildlife Refuge & Crocodile Sanctuary in North Ambergris Caye.
– You will be supporting research, conservation and safety.Â Ambergris Caye, Belize’s premier tourist destination has the highest number of croc/human conflicts in the country of Belize.
– CSI Belize is a scenic adventure, the trip takes you around the mangroves and lagoon side of the island, where you will learn a lot about Crocodiles and their habitats.
Not only are Vince and Cheri Rose helping to take a bite out of Extinction, they both have interesting history. Cheri worked with alligators from 1990 to 1995 in South Carolina. Vince ran a private wildlife refuge/resort owned by John Denver in Colorado and was studying bears, another apex predator. Previous to that he lived in Australia for 6 months and studied saltwater crocodiles.
Cherie and Vince were only together about a year before they got married and moved here. It was a match made in Croc Heaven.Â Both Vince and Cheri are permitted by the Belize Forrest department. They recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a long term plan to work with the Forestry Department on crocodile conservation in Belize.
You will also meet Chris Summers, who has been volunteering for 2 years with ACES. He does a great job crocodile spotting, often ends up in the water with Vince helping wrangle while Cheri is driving the boat. Chris is definitely a tip worthy guy.