Special Report forwarded by AAF Correspondents: Miki and Jeanne Perez-Lizano
from Newsday

HOME   Crocodiles Creep Into Mexican City

October 15, 1999

Animal Attack
Books on Reptiles
By LUIS LOPEZ Associated Press Writer

VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico (AP) -- City residents who've put up with flooded homes and streets here for a month are dealing with another crisis: crocodiles.

The reptiles are crawling into the city streets of the flooded city of Villahermosa, seeking higher ground to rest and sun themselves.

``Last night, one came out and stopped in the middle of the street, blocking traffic,'' taxi driver Ruben Mendoza said. ``It was very big. No one wanted to move it. It was frightening.''

Local environmental officials are warning residents to call authorities rather than try to move or overpower the crocodiles, which range in size from 3 feet to 8 feet.

Manuel Aysa, of the federal environmental protection agency, said that between Thursday and Friday authorities captured nine of the animals ``in very populated areas that are flooded and in public parks.''

Dangerous snakes have also been a problem. The Red Cross said five people have been bitten by snakes whose poison can kill a person within 40 minutes. All of the bite victims, however, were treated in time.

Severe rains that started in mid-September caused flooding and mudslides across a wide swathe of southeastern Mexico, killing at least 381 people. Many homes in Tabasco state, whose capital is Villahermosa, have been underwater for a month.

Crocodiles were first sighted last week in Villahermosa neighborhoods inundated by overflowing rivers. Only one of the reptiles is said to have tried to attack anyone. No one was injured in that case.

BACK to Animal Attack Files