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Mob torches Belize crocodile sanctuary

Sept. 9, 2010 at 3:54 PM

PUNTA GORDA, Belize, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- An American couple says the crocodile preserve they ran in Belize was burned down by a mob of locals who were apparently inspired by a psychic.

Vincent and Cherie Rose, formerly of Aspen, Colo., said about 100 angry Mayans stormed their compound in Punta Gora over the weekend after a local psychic told them the Roses had kidnapped two local children and fed them to the crocs.

"I'm going to get a lawyer and sue the Mayan village that's responsible for destroying our lives and our not-for-profit crocodile sanctuary," Rose told the Aspen Times.

The newspaper said Thursday that the Roses had relocated to Belize in 2004 and opened the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary as a haven from poachers. About 17 of the reptiles were in the 36-acre sanctuary when the crowd attacked.

The psychic has since been arrested for telling fraudulent fortunes, but no arrests have been made in the torching of the Roses' compound.