Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Reptiles

Crocodiles disappearing as dinner in Jamaica as domestic demand for its meat grows

  • aea8baf9acfe60213f0f6a70670056cc.jpg

    In this Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 photo, a roughly seven-foot female crocodile opens its toothy jaws in one of several fenced pens at a sanctuary in the mountain town of Cascade in northern Jamaica. The poaching problem has gotten so bad in Jamaica that a passionate reptile enthusiast, Lawrence Henriques, has set up the crocodile sanctuary and captive rearing program, far from the animals’ southern habitat, as insurance against future loss. (AP Photo/David McFadden) (The Associated Press)

  • ab21f3c6ad0060213f0f6a706700f20d.jpg

    In this Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 photo, crocodile enthusiast Lawrence Henriques pats the tail of a seven-foot female crocodile at a sanctuary and captive rearing program he founded in the mountain town of Cascade in northern Jamaica. He set up the facility as a domestic market for crocodile meat and even eggs as conservationists worried that the big reptiles, protected by law since 1971 and already endangered by the steady loss of their wetland habitat, might be wiped from the wild altogether. (AP Photo/David McFadden) (The Associated Press)

  • 0c911a7fad0060213f0f6a706700051f.jpg

    In this Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 photo, two roughly seven-foot female crocodiles rescued from the wild bask in the sun at a sanctuary and captive rearing program crocodile enthusiast Lawrence Henriques founded in the mountain town of Cascade in northern Jamaica. Crocodiles were once so abundant along the salty rim of southern Jamaica that images of their toothy jaws and spiny armor crown the tropical island’s coat of arms and are stenciled on the bumpers of military vehicles. (AP Photo/David McFadden) (The Associated Press)

  • 5a9034daacff60213f0f6a70670024ee.jpg

    In this Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 photo, a 2-year-old crocodile nicknamed “Sylvester” is held at a sanctuary and captive rearing program crocodile enthusiast Lawrence Henriques founded in the mountain town of Cascade in northern Jamaica. The poaching problem has gotten so bad in Jamaica, that Henriques set up the sanctuary, far from the animals’ southern habitat, as insurance against future loss. He also hopes to educate islanders who revile them or want to barbecue them. (AP Photo/David McFadden) (The Associated Press)

  • 213960d7acff60213f0f6a7067009a0d.jpg

    In this Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 photo, crocodile enthusiast Lawrence Henriques shows identifying markings on the spiky tale of a sub-adult crocodile at a sanctuary and captive rearing program he founded in the mountain town of Cascade in northern Jamaica. His facility’s fenced pens and ponds now hold about 45 gray-green crocs. (AP Photo/David McFadden) (The Associated Press)

Crocodiles were once so abundant along the salty rim of southern Jamaica that images of their toothy jaws and spiny armor crown the tropical island's coat of arms and are stenciled on the bumpers of military vehicles.

Now, the big reptiles are increasingly difficult to spot, and not just because they blend into swampy backgrounds. These days, a growing taste for crocodile meat and even eggs in Jamaica has conservationists worried that the reptiles might be wiped from the wild altogether, although they've been protected by law since 1971.

Crocs have steadily reclaimed their range in Florida, their only U.S. habitat, after rebounding from the edge of extinction. But experts believe the reptiles may be reaching a tipping point in economically struggling Jamaica.

See the latest updates on the hottest midterm races from Fox News

Full Elections Coverage →

Keep up with all the 2014 races in

Coverage →