ACES (American Crocodile Education Sanctuary) is a non-profit organization in San Pedro, Belize that is dedicated to educating the public about crocodiles and conserving crocodiles and their habitat. ACEs offers a fun and interesting tour as part of their crocodile education program. On the tour, you drive around the mangroves at night on their boat, the “swamp thing”, and search for crocodiles while learning all about them.
Here is the incredibly cool ACEs team: Christina and Chris. (I didn’t have a picture of them so this is borrowed from their facebook page)
On the day of our scheduled tour, there was a problematic crocodile who was located in a neighborhood that needed to be relocated. So our experience was just a little different than their typical tour.
When we arrived at the boat dock, this is what we saw in the boat:
Chris and Christina had already captured the crocodile and had him secured in the “swamp thing”.
The 9 of us climbed into the boat (careful not to step on the crocodile of course) and crept slowly through the waterways and dark mangroves on the lagoon side of San Pedro, Belize.We were in search of a new home for this crocodile. Along the way, Chris and Christina answered all of our questions about crocodiles and their habitat.
Christina used her flashlight to search the mangroves for “eye-shine” to locate other crocodiles.
During the cruise, we were able to spot a few other crocodiles swimming by.
Before the crocodile was released, he was measured and Christina took notes in her book. ACEs keeps a record of all of the crocodiles so they can monitor them. This was the first time this guy was being recorded so we were able to name him. One of the guests on the boat suggested “One-Eyed Willie” and everyone else agreed this was a great name for him since he was, indeed, missing one eye.
Chris located the perfect home for our new friend. He carried One-Eyed Wille from the boat to his new house and prepared to release him.
How do you release a crocodile?
Chris sat on the crocodile’s back as he unwrapped his mouth. Once the crocodile was free, Chris walked away calmly…as if there wasn’t a crocodile right behind him!
This 2 1/2 hour tour was extremely interesting and everyone in our group had a great time. Chris and Christina are so knowledgeable and fun and you can tell they are truly passionate about their work.
The cost of the tour if $50.00 US per person and it’s great for a group because everyone (kids and adults alike) will enjoy it. If you’re looking for something different and educational to do while visiting San Pedro, contact Christina at ACES to schedule a crocodile tour.
Who knows, you may get a chance to meet One-Eyed Willie!