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Errant Crocodiles and Alligators in Ajah- Residents’ Fears Rising

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Following our Feb. 18th, 2011  publication on Naijatreks (http://wp.me/p1gRwE-8Z) and an April 5th, 2011  article on Sahara Reporters (http://www.saharareporters.com/article/crocodile-roaming-free-ajah-victoria-island-naijatreks-calls-nigerian-conservation-foundatio), there had been increased reports of both crocodile and alligator- sighting at the Green-Ville Estate pool.

In response to the SR publication on the errant crocodiles, officials of NCF called Naijatreks and claimed that they had been taking serious steps such as liaising with the residents of the estate to capture and relocate the errant crocodile (although they refused to reply our emails due to "the incompetence of the secretary in charge of the organization’s email box").

Recent fears and complaints of the residents drew our attention and took us to the location of the pool. Due to the present season, the water level has now become so high that the surrounding houses are often flooded during heavy rains.

 

Troubled residents living near the crocodile pool

One of the poolside residents, Mr. Raymond, bitterly regretted moving into the neighbourhood. He says, "if not because of my present financial state, I would have moved out of this place once I started seeing the crocodiles. I didn’t know much about crocodiles until I moved here. I was scared and had to start reading more about them to know if it was ok to have them around my house. Unfortunately, I learnt they are one of the most dangerous reptiles on earth. I used to think there was just one of them until I started seeing more than one, and they are of two types- alligators and crocodiles".

Mr. Ande muottoh, a staff of Chisco Transport company who resides less than 5m from the edge of the pool, also narrated his experiences with the dangerous. According to him, the incursion of the pool waters into his house has elevated the risk of attack by the crocodiles. "In the night, we often hear rustling sounds from the flooded elephant grasses in front of our house, we know the crocodiles are here again, and have probably come to salvage whatever edible material they could get from the refuse dump in front of our house". He also confirmed the presence of both alligators and crocodiles in the pool.

 

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When asked what steps have been taken to capture the crocodiles, he said he only knew of futile attempts (a long time ago), by the owner of the pool (who initially used the pool as a fishing pond) to capture the reptiles. According to him, some residents of the estate had reported the situation to Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), whose office and conservation centre is nearby in hope of getting help, and till date, all they got were nothing but promises. "I haven’t seen any government or conservation agency here since, and I believe they are very much aware of the situation here. Since they keep crocodiles at their centre, I don’t think it should cost them so much to get the right man-power that can get these things out of here. I believe it will even be a plus for them since the reptiles will be added to the ones at their centre, and if they can’t do it, they should let us know, so that we can look else where for help".

He also noted the favourite tanning point of the crocodiles to be a stack of bamboo sticks floating at a corner of the pool. "Just last week Saturday, while driving out of the estate, my wife and I saw people parking their cars and coming out to look at something in the pool. We found out that they were looking at one of the crocodiles sun-tanning on the bamboo sticks. A police friend of mine living in the estate told me that sometime last year, while on patrol within the estate, they found and shot a big crocodile crossing the Estate’s central street. They believe that it was probably attempting to cross to the creeks located behind the estate which directly links the Lagos Lagoon".

Houses flooded by the crocodile pool

– One of the apartments flooded by the crocodile pool.

Refuse dump at the pool edge where the crocodiles often come to feed at night

– Refuse dump at the pool edge where the crocodiles often come to feed at night.

 

Mr Raymond residence

– Mr Raymond residence.

 

A church located at the pool edge

– A church located at the pool edge.

The Estate's central street flooded by the waters of the crocodile pool (red arrow points to the pool)

– The Estate’s central street flooded by the waters of the crocodile pool (red arrow points to the pool).

 

The stack of floating bamboo sticks on which the crocodiles are often seen sun-tanning

– The stack of floating bamboo sticks on which the crocodiles are often seen sun-tanning.

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This article was written by Folarin Kolawole

Founder of Naijatreks, Nigerian-born Folarin Kolawole is a geologist, travel writer and researcher. When not at work, he travels the length and breadth of Nigeria, exploring, taking photos and writing about her numerous hidden tourist potentials.   'Naijatreks' is a product name registered under the Ntreks brand, which is also duly registered by Nigeria's Federal Corporate Affairs Commission. The contents on this blog are re-usable. However, it must be ensured that it is linked back to this blog, and correctly attributed to Naijatreks or the author. Please do not edit, rewrite or commercialize the original works on this blog without direct and written permission from the Founder (Folarin Kolawole). For inquiries and advert placement on the blog, kindly contact us at info@naijatreks.com or naijatreks@gmail.com.

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