I woke up under the cotton tree in Robertsport to find that our guard had killed a baby crocodile during the night. "It was swimming across the lagoon," he announced unapologetically, poking at it's 1-foot carcass with a stick.
I paddle through this lagoon to go surfing, the women wash their clothes in it, and it is where we rinse off and do our dishes. The multipurpose use of this semi-freshwater, which is always changing in shape and size with the rains and tides, is for the moment inconsequential. Once we get the NGO running, we'll learn how the community obtains and uses its freshwater resources and see what sustainable environmental solutions can be applied to help out. But for now, back to the crocodile.
You can see here that it's head has been cut off, like you would do to a snake, largely because I suspect the guard got bored. "Are you going to eat it?" I asked hopefully. The guard nodded. "Will you make in into a soup?" I asked, already knowing the answer and angling for an invitation. Yes, he was. And despite asking several different ways throughout the morning, we were not invited. In retrospect, I should've given him a dollar or two to secure the rest of the ingredients for the soup, thereby guaranteeing my invitation. Next time.
Monrovia's location, surrounded by swamp, means that it should be a happy habitat for many crocodiles. I was walking home from my dentist appointment last week, joined by two neighborhood Liberian girls who insisted I teach them songs, and thought I'd ask them about this. "Are there crocodiles around?" I said, motioning to the mangroves. "Oh yes!" they told me, with all the glee of children talking about deadly animals. "Really big ones! They eat children!"
I suppose it's a good thing our guard killed the baby crocodile after all.