Thank you Randa!
L’Atelier du Miel produces all over Lebanon different kinds of honey that are all 100% natural and produced in an artisanal way.
I loved how the movie shows the different stages of honey production and beautiful regions in Lebanon.
You can check out more about L’Atelier du Miel [Here].
A video was posted by Al Joumhouria today showing a weird species swimming in the Beirut River. According to Nadine from LBCBlogs and after asking Animals Lebanon, the animal is a softshell turtle which is a highly endangered species.
Thanks to Animals Lebanon however, I was told that this softshell turtle was indeed as much native to the country as it is to the Mediterranean. I was also told that this animal was on the highly endangered species list.
“Certainly with fishing and hunting, pollution, and habitat destruction or degradation they are becoming more endangered and certainly rare here. As with many species there is very little being done in Lebanon to study populations, distributions and threats. Hopefully we will get to a point where we can reference work that is being done here. It is actually quite sad in a way that people here aren’t aware of what amazing and interesting species exist,” said Jason Mier, the Executive Director of Animals Lebanon.
With no sort of set rules and regulations to control animal/species welfare in the country, add to that a complete disregard to the status of the environment and the disruption of the eco-system, I think the worst is yet to come given the overall general situation in the country and the fact that we as a population know so little of our own wildlife.
I paid the Beirut River a visit a couple of weeks ago and it’s the most disgusting place you could ever go to.
I contacted Animals Lebanon last week to see if they have any updates regarding the Beirut River crocodile and to ask them if we can visit the site and help them search for the crocodile. I was told that there’s usually someone there between 10 and 12 everyday and that anyone can pass by. Also and more importantly, I was informed that there are two crocodiles and not just one and that the second one is twice the size of the first.
So I took my brother and headed on Thursday morning to the Beirut River. The first spot that I went to was the one right before the slaughter house next to the U-Turn that takes you back on the Hazmieh highway. The two pictures shown above are from that spot but I didn’t find any crocodiles there. There were 3 men looking as well for them but with no luck. I asked them if there’s another spot to look at and they told me to go inside the slaughter house and head towards the end where they once spotted one of them.
I went inside the area where the slaughter house is located and there was no one at the door. As soon as I got to the second spot, I opened the door to go down and almost fainted from the smell. I always wondered why people are not visiting the crocodile site and thought they were scared of them, but believe me the smells are scarier than the crocodiles.
The place is polluted beyond belief and the sad part is that I found people living there. I am not sure if they work at the slaughter house or are refugees from Syria (as I found a lot of Anti-Assad slogans on the walls) but no one should live in such a shit hole.
As far as the crocodiles are concerned, I spent a good half hour but didn’t find anything. The water is dirty and I am sure toxic as well and I honestly don’t envy the teams from Animals Lebanon and the Civil Defense for having to go there everyday.
I think the Minister of Environment should make an extra effort and provide the necessary for the local teams and maybe get a team of experts to locate the crocodiles ASAP and take them out of this river before it’s too late.
On a last note, It would be nice if the concerned parties do something about the slaughterhouse and the other surrounding buildings by at least monitoring who goes in and out and cleaning it up because I am confident the place violates every hygiene standard out there.
Back in April, I posted an update about the sea lion stating that the Ministry of Environment was taking charge of that matter. However and according to Animals Lebanon, The Ministry decided to leave the sea lion where she was and by that jeopardized her life.
The NGO had warned the Ministry that the sea lion is a captive raised California sea lion, not native to this region and not used to surviving in the wild, and releasing the animal in the wild is against the recommendations of the IUCN, yet no one listened. They even offered a large pool with security for the animal.
At this point, no one knows what happened to the sea lion but it is definitely not the happy ending we were hoping for. Let’s hope the Beirut crocodile doesn’t face a similar fate.
Animals Lebanon have been working for a week now with the Ministry of Agriculture and Civil Defense Team to try and capture the dangerous crocodile but as you can see from the pictures, the conditions of the so-called Beirut river are so bad that it is the crocodile who’s in danger and not us.
All pictures taken from Animals Lebanon Facebook Page.
It has been almost a week since we became involved with the Beirut river crocodile. In cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, our team along with the Civil Defense team have been taking shifts on a daily basis at the river. Permits from the Mayor of Beirut and the Minister of Energy and Water have been secured to let our team access the area and try to safely capture the crocodile.
Here’s a statement posted on Animals Lebanon’s Facebook page explaining how the crocodile ended up in Beirut, the traffic of crocodiles in Lebanon and other related questions:
Yes, there is a crocodile in the Beirut River.
A few days ago we spoke to a journalist from Al Joumhouria who claimed to have pictures and video footage of a Nile crocodile in the Beirut river. We did meet and have seen the pictures and footage, the location where he took the pictures from and the spot the crocodile was. So yes, for everyone asking, we certainly believe this is valid and there is a crocodile in the Beirut river.
Should we be surprised? Over the years we have come across smoking chimpanzees, lions kept on balconies in downtown Beirut, a tiger being driven around the city, so a crocodile doesn’t really seem that surprising when putting it all in context. Sightings of a crocodile have circulated over the last months but this was the first confirmation.
We have been coordinating with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Beirut Municipality. Both have been extremely cooperative, the priority now is to safely capture this crocodile both for its own welfare and the welfare of the people in the area.
Unfortunately crocodiles and many other endangered species are still being trafficked to Lebanon. These are not pets – what might seem interesting when small soon becomes a major problem as they grow larger and more dangerous. The country is the newest party of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species and we need to do more to prevent this.
To answer some questions and put aside some rumors -
- the crocodile is dangerous and would certainly defend itself, we strongly recommend against anyone trying to interact with or capture it
- the crocodile is estimated to be about a meter to a meter and a half long, not two or three meters
- there seems to be only one, not more
- most likely the crocodile was released by someone keeping it as an exotic pet or escaped from a nearby pet shop
- this is an endangered species and there are no records of legal import, but this species is sometimes seen in pet shop and we are contacted a few times each year by people that keep them in Lebanon
- the crocodile can go on land, but this is only along the riverbank, there is no fear of the crocodile walking to Hamra
- swimmers at any of the beaches north or south of Beirut should not worry about being attacked
Why the hell are they throwing rocks at him??
Apparently the Nile Crocodile is one of the most dangerous crocodiles. I wonder how it got to Lebanon though.
The Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is an African crocodile and the second largest extant reptile in the world, after the saltwater crocodile. The Nile crocodile is an ambush predator and can wait for hours, days and even weeks for the suitable moment to attack. [Wiki]
Lebanon has a mere 225 km of coast line, much of which is neither free nor clean to enjoy. Compared to this, it has a lifetime of trails and walks to discover that lead through pristine natural landscapes of great diversity, passing through or near small villages and hamlets, rivers, orchards, places of heritage and of course, many local food delicacies. [NowLebanon]
NowLebanon, with the help of CVS (Club Des Vieux Sentiers) and LMT (Lebanese Mountain Trail), compiled a list of summer hikes that you can check [Here].
The Club Des Vieux Sentiers was founded back in 1971 and has been organizing hikes ever since. You don’t have to be a professional to join them as there are several hikes of varying difficulties offered. I’ve never been to any hike yet but I have a friend who goes all the time and uploads the most amazing pictures. The hikes are a great way to discover many parts of Lebanon we haven’t heard of, but more importantly switch off after a long week, meet new people, get some exercise and enjoy nature.
If you wish to go for something more extreme, you can try to hike the [LMT].
PS: If you don’t know what to bring or wear on a hike, there’s a hiking checklist and tons of information on the LMT website that you can check [Here].