Jordan / Sudan – (ARAB NEWSWIRE) -- After surviving a stressful journey being smuggled into Jordan, the confiscated Nile crocodile “Mahzooz” —meaning “Lucky” in Arabic— was rescued from the exotic pet trade in close collaboration between the Princess Alia Foundation / Al-Ma’wa for Nature & Wildlife, and the CITES management authority (The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature - RSCN), and is currently in the process of making it back home where it belongs —the wild.
The initial confiscation process was due to close cooperation between the CITES Management Authority in Jordan (RSCN) and the Environmental Police Department, after officers noticed an advertisement for trading a smuggled crocodile while monitoring the Social Media channels.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in cooperation with Al-Ma’wa for Nature & Wildlife managed by Princess Alia Foundation and Four Paws , and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) in Jordan, and with the Sudanese Wildlife Conservation General Administration in Sudan, are working together to transport, rehabilitate and release the crocodile which could take up to two weeks starting today.in Al-Dinder Biosphere Reserve in Sudan at the Crocodiles Lake there. This site is considered within the natural habitat for the Nile crocodile.
“The animals caught in pet trade are not the only ones who suffer; the concerned authorities do too as they end up covering costs they often cannot afford.” Elsayed Mohamed, the Regional Director at IFAW continues, “especially with the lack of resources and capacity, most animals either end up euthanized or trapped in captivity for the rest of their lives. It is truly tragic.”
IFAW however insists on giving this crocodile a different ending to it’s story and is using it to send a louder message; stop the demand for exotic pet ownership. According to Elsayed, this crocodile is “lucky“, as many of the confiscated animals don’t make it this far especially since many tend to fall in the wrong hands of owners who have no idea how to take care of them, or considered “not worth the trouble or cost” for concerned authorities, as the release of wild animals is generally a great challenge scientifically and economically. Fortunately, crocodile genes often do not represent a challenge when releasing them back into the wild—contrary to many other wild animals.
All partners in this translocation process have arranged the needed permits, zoological and health tests and veterinary certificates to export the crocodile using a suitable cage with cargo from Jordan’s Queen Alia Airport, to Sudan. Once the crocodile arrives in Sudan, the Sudanese Wildlife Conservation General Administration will transfer the crocodile to a suitable shelter, in order to rehabilitate it and carry out any necessary checks on the animal to confirm its readiness for the release.
The release site has been determined by all partners mentioned in order to ensure that it is far away from urban areas and human settlements thereby ensuring the safety of human and avoiding human-wildlife conflict in the long run.
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