Story at a glance
- Mexican media outlets have reported crocodiles on the beach of a resort in Oaxaca that is now closed to tourists.
- Crocodiles have been reported in the area before and Mexico’s federal environmental protection agency has made attempts to count their population.
- The country’s previously threatened population has since recovered under protection from the federal environmental agency.
When the humans are away, the crocodiles have come out to play, according to viral reports from Mexico.
— Mexico News Daily (@mexicond) April 13, 2020
Mexican media outlets are reporting increased sightings of crocodiles on La Ventanilla beach in Oaxaca. The beaches were closed at the beginning of April in order to prevent crowds from gathering during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Mexico News Daily also reported that the federal environmental protection agency PROFEPA was counting the population in the Manialtepec and Chacahua lagoons before the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
The country’s populations of river crocodile and swamp crocodile have been recovering in recent years after being threatened by hunting and unregulated trade. PROFEPA has put identification, prevention and monitoring strategies in place to protect its crocodile population, as well as caiman. As of 2015, the swamp crocodile population in Mexico remained steady between 54,000 and more than 100,000.
Crocodile attacks on humans have been reported in the state of Oaxaca. One study found the highest proportion of attacks and deaths occurring on the northwest coast during the nesting and rainy seasons. About 40 percent of attacks are related to fishing activity, where male victims are more common, but a high proportion of fatal cases involved children younger than 10.
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