The Akatsi North District Assembly of the Volta Region has temporarily shut down the Ave Crocodile Resort after one of the crocodiles attacked a tourist in a video that went viral on social media.
Meanwhile, the Assembly is collaborating with its partners and tourism agencies to implement measures that will ensure safety of tourists and provide adequate security at the facility when it reopens.
The Ave Dakpa Crocodile Resort was inaugurated in 2017 by the Akatsi North District Assembly to promote its eco-tourism potential to generate revenue and to provide jobs for residents in the district.
The project is a partnership venture between the Assembly and the Ave Dakpa traditional area which owns the crocodile pond and parcels of land on which the resort is sited.
It is estimated that the pond is a habitat for over one hundred crocodiles and fish species. Since its inauguration in 2017, the facility has attracted several thousands of tourists from near and far bringing prominence to the district.
However, in a viral video that surfaced on social media early this year, one of the crocodiles at the resort attacked a tourist who tried to pose for a picture with it.
State agencies in the tourism industry such as the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Wild Life Division of the Forestry Commission have since advised that the facility is temporarily shut down to pave way for rehabilitation and best practices to be instituted.
The Volta/Eastern Regions Director of the Division, Moses Anongura indicated that the crocodile which attacked the tourist might have felt threatened looking at the viral video. He advised tourists to stay away from wildlife regardless of how friendly they may seem because they are not rational as human beings.
He said wildlife can also be carriers of virus and bacteria that are harmful to humans citing the examples of the Ebola and coronavirus.
The Outgoing District Chief Executive for Akatsi North, Dr Prince Sodoke Amuzu expressed regret about the incident in the viral video, saying that the Assembly is footing the medical bills of the injured tourist who is recuperating.
He said the Assembly is in the process of recruiting enough professional tour guides and security officers to ensure safety of tourists and adequate security at the facility before it reopens.
By: Elorm Yao Aryee.