A crocodile attack at a lagoon on the coast of Oaxaca cost the life of a four-year-old boy yesterday.
According to the state Civil Protection office, the crocodile dragged the child into the waters of a lagoon located near the town of El Ciruelo in the municipality of Pinotepa Nacional.
The attack triggered an immediate search by residents and local authorities, but so far the minor’s body has not been found.
It was the seventh crocodile attack recorded during the last seven years. According to the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection, Profepa, the reptiles have killed at least three people in recent years.
The agency has begun compiling a census of the crocodiles inhabiting the Chacahua and Manialtepec lagoon systems in order to implement a protection and handling program.
Profepa has identified that the crocodiles involved in the attacks had left their original habitat and spread over a larger area in the aftermath of recent hurricanes. At the same time, human activity has also spread over a wider area, invading otherwise virgin wetlands.
Profepa intends to collaborate with non-governmental organizations in the creation of special protected areas along the Oaxaca coast and within the wetlands, to which any crocodiles found roaming near inhabited areas are to be transported.
Local officials warned last June that there had been a big increase in crocodile numbers in El Zapotalito, one of the lagoons in the Chacahua system.
Source: Milenio (sp)