An investigation into alleged money laundering by one of Honduras’ most powerful families, the Rosenthals, has resulted in some unusual victims: thousands of hungry crocodiles.
At least 7,500 crocodiles on a private farm in northern Honduras have been poorly fed in recent weeks due to a lack of resources, authorities and employees at the property said.
The bank accounts of the farm’s owner, the Rosenthal family, were seized during a probe into accusations they were operating a money laundering network linked to drug trafficking.
Farm employees told The Associated Press that the animals went without food for more than a month, but were fed over the weekend thanks to donations from the public.
Worker Antonio Mejia said the crocodiles were raised for their skins, he claimed some 200 small crocodiles had died.
The workers said there were about 9,000 crocodiles at the farm, but authorities said the number was probably closer to 7,500.
“There have been difficulties in feeding (the crocodiles),” Pablo Dubon, northern regional director of Honduras’ Forest Conservation Institute said.
Dubon has asked private companies to donate money to buy food for the crocodiles, with some 23,000 pounds of food obtained on Sunday, most of it chicken.
Also going hungry at the farm were 12 mammals, including lions and monkeys.