Friday, December 22, 2006

Croc Update

This is a long article, but it's well worth reading. There's also a small picture of some kids playing with a croc.

ABC News: Tourists Cozy Up to Crocodiles in Africa
PAGA, Ghana, Dec. 20, 2006 — There is something strange going on in the small village of Paga in northern Ghana in West Africa. It appears to defy the laws of nature, and certainly the laws of fear.

Most of the outside world is unaware of the special but bizarre relationship that exists here between humans and crocodiles, animals that anyone with an ounce of common sense would run from.

But the people of Paga swim joyfully and wash clothes in the same village pond that 110 crocs use as their home — and their dining room.

No one seems to know how long the crocodiles have lived in the pond, or how they got to this land-locked area. But Yahaya Ahasan, the head crocodile keeper, told ABC News that no one from the village has ever been harmed by the crocs. That's extraordinary, considering that crocodiles are notoriously nasty if you get in their way, or if you resemble food.

But Ahasan said the crocs don't feel threatened by humans here. "We believe that they are the souls of relatives of this town," he said. "They are sacred animals, so we don't hate them, we don't kill them, we don't harm them."

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