Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Belizean Maya Villagers Burn Down Crocodile Sanctuary Out of Superstition

American crocodile

A mob of angry Maya people recently destroyed and burned down a crocodile conservation sanctuary in Belize, fearing for the disappearance of two children. On August 7th, 9-year-old Benjamin Rash and his older sister Onelia were sent out to sell limes and were never seen or heard from again. The villagers, fearing for the two children's lives, visited a local psychic who predicted that the operators of the sanctuary had fed the kids to the crocodiles. According to deputy police commissioner James Magdaleno, the indigenous Mayan people have their own beliefs and because of them took the matter into their own hands. However, no arrests have been made and the site is still under investigation. Belizean police even questioned the sanctuary's operators about the missing children, but no connection was made.

In my opinion, this is truly an extreme case of taking evasive action by local people towards an animal which has been highly regarded as dangerous by the human race for generations. These people, the Mayans, have committed an act out which turned to be out of superstition and no other reason. They did not have any real proof regarding the two children's disappearance. Because of this, all the crocodiles in that sanctuary ended up being senselessly massacred. Even worse is that the event shattered the  sanctuary's operators' hopes of helping to save and conserve the local crocodile population. I think that the Mayan people in Belize are sticking to their cultural beliefs to such extremes, that they end up committing such an act which other people see as senseless and without strong evidence. I can only hope that they will one day come to their senses, and realize what important roles crocodiles play in their native habitat which also happens to be their ancestors' for generations.

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