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Bruno’s Killer Captured

Bruno’s Killer Captured
September 06
00:00 2018
REPORTER: News Staff, -

The dangerous crocodile which attacked a dog named ‘Bruno’ on a Facebook video that went viral, was captured last week through a collaborative effort involving the Crocodile Research Coalition (CRC) and the Belize Forestry Department.

The video caused quite a stir on social media as many viewers felt the dog was taken to the area purposely to be eaten by the crocodile. The Forest Department and the CRC had visited the area, behind Banquitas in Orange Walk, a few days after the video was posted. The CRC and Forest Department learned there that residents had been feeding the crocodiles in the area, causing them to become ‘habituated’, losing their natural fear of humans.

Since the controversy of the video, several signs have been installed in the area warning residents against feeding the crocodiles. Several others crocodiles were spotted in the area but none showed signs of being problematic.

According to the CRC, the team made several trips to the area and observed residents feedings crocodiles in the area. During one such feeding, the team spotted a croc which resembled the one in the video based on scars the team was able to identify from the video footage. The team employed the use of a drone to observe the crocodile closely and study its movements, tracking its route.

Samples were taken from the crocodile, which revealed that the croc is in poor health, which the CRC says may account for its desperation in attacking a dog in front of humans, or may have already been habituated or a combination of both factors. According to the CRC, the samples show the crocodile has had exposure to heavy metals in its system. The croc is being held in captivity as the team continues to conduct tests and nurse it back to health. The CRC says it is concerned that other crocs in the area may be affected similarly and is testing to determine what may be causing the crocodiles to be exposed to high concentrations of heavy metals.

“Crocodiles have the 2nd strongest innate immune system in the world (after the Komodo Dragon) and can kill various viruses and bacteria, thus an ill croc should be a red flag that there is an imbalance in the ecosystem,” the CRC told the Reporter. The CRC took a tissue sample of the animal for heavy metal analysis and will be in touch with colleagues in the US to analyze the sample for various heavy metal concentrations. Additionally, the CRC will continue its nocturnal capture research surveys in the area

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