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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Crocodiles, Conservation, Killing and Eating *


There is a lot of news of a lion killed in Zimbabwe by a trophy hunter. This was a despicable act, but the western world is not blameless in this respect. I am talking of conservation of wild life. Recently in Australia authorities found heads of 70 crocodiles stuffed in a freezer. Hunting a crocodile is banned in Australia and can earn a 5 year jail term.

Crocodiles are protected species in Australia and only a few are killed in case they become a danger to human habitation. Thus authorities have to answer how the crocodile heads turned up in the freezer. So far no arrests are made and one can only hope some action will ensue.

Another fact I am unable to digest is people eating crocodile meat. This beats a mans imagination. A friend has written to me that Crocodile meat is served of all places in USA. I am told Crocodile meat is a delicacy in Louisiana state of USA - the alligator variety. The tail meat is costlier. One can get 'Gator burger' or 'Alligator Smoked Sausage' and other preparations in some of the restaurants, available more in 'French Market' area along Mississippi river in New Oeleans city. 

Also there are alligator farms where they are bred and reared only for commercial purpose (human cosumption). Alligator heads (after the taxidermy) from very small to large size are displayed and sold in different shops as souvenir. Cost varies between $ 15 to $ 50. Visitors are naturally surprised to see that alligator meat is consumed by the inhabitants. NatGeo channel shows 'Alligator hunting". May be Australia has similar culture in some parts?

Despite this, I do feel crocodile hunting needs to stop. You can't kill one in India, where wild life laws are strict, yet aberrations take place. Talking of crocodiles, their skin is worth a fortune in fashion market with women leading the way. Its about time this was stopped. Crocodiles have become almost extinct in China. We can't let this happen at other places.