Wednesday , 6 July 2022
The trade of crocodiles, crocodile skin or crocodile skin based craft products certainly had a negative impact on a local economy already battered by the crisis , but not only a negative one. Thanks to this measure, rivers are restoring their stocks of legendary species which is part of the Malagasy landscape and beliefs. The CITES, the international convention for endangered wild fauna and flora species, wants to compel the local power and operators to review their activities for the sake of preserving the Nile crocodile from extinction in Madagascar .

Preservation of Madagascar’s crocodiles and related legends

preservation: a bad omen for business
The moratorium concerning the ban on commercial exploitation of the crocodile became a significant blow to the development of a business currently boosted by rising prices of skins on the international market. The CITES blames the Madagascar’s ruling of a lack of information , namely a poor inventory and a wanting animal track down system. Traders endeavored to tackle the issue by themselves and to provide some of regulation to the sector. Tanners were consequently required to fill a single sheet up with the source of their skin products and reveal their stock status. Not convincing enough, said the CITES.
Madagascar’s Crocodylus niloticus is not part of the endangered species yet, and the preservation measure is primarily deemed to see to it that it remains out of that list. The failure to draw a decent inventory of the wild crocodile population up definitely prevents the calculation of any rational export quota. The fact that local farms are struggling to sell their products since exports have been suspended does not rule a possible widespread of illegal crocodile skin trade out. The collection of crocodile eggs to supply active farms happens to be the main threat to the species, besides.
Still, a crocodile farm may keep serving as a fair attraction for tourists. Staring at dozens of mighty reptiles having a sun bath altogether or feasting on large quarters of meat is worth the price. A barbecue of their white tasty flesh is even an option. There is no better available way to  taste what it feels to stand at the top of the food chain, is there? Crocodiles are however hardly ever being spotted by inexperienced tourists sailing along rivers on inflatable boats in the southwestern part of the country. Heading to the North, to its lakes and streams, would secure significantly more chances to get a catch.
Fears and legends
The Mahavavy rivers, and Soahany Manambaho are still populated by Nile crocodiles This territory is theirs. These formidably crafted predators would not mind having humans to dinner. Dozens of victims are reported every year. Zebus venturing to the water’s edge to have drink constitute their preferred prey. The everlasting fear from the crocodile has undoubtedly contributed to the local people’s inclination to venerate it, as much as to its reluctance to protect it.
Legends and beliefs about crocodiles were nevertheless a source of education. They prompted people to sacrifice a zebu to the animal as an evidence of respect and reverence. The best known story to this topic is the Legend of Anivorano. Once upon a time, nearly an entire village refused to give water to an old travelling man. The whole plain consequently got drowned under waters, and all of the villagers but one woman, who kindly fed the old man, got turned into crocodiles.
The Legend of the Zafimboay ( grandchildren of crocodiles) tells of a great deal between crocodiles and humans, which was once shattered by a little girl. The elder crocodile, which she offended, dragged her to the bottom of the water. Later on she was rescued by a zebu owner. The predator did not give in and broke into the village to look for her prey. It took a zebu to be sacrificed to avert total slaughter. Some Malagasy ethnic groups believe in reincarnation and see a reflection of their ancestors into crocodiles. According to their beliefs, a particularly stealthy and crafty crocodile runs around with a jeweled ring tied to its leg.