Bloodthirsty Crocodiles Invade Costa Rica

crocodile 300x198 Bloodthirsty Crocodiles Invade Costa Rica

Bloodthirsty Crocodiles Invade Costa Rica

By Mireille Darras

Choosing a spot on the white sand, looking forward to a swim in the tranquil water of this magnificent beach in Punta Leona, Costa Rica. Plenty of trees for shade, not too many people, perfect, paradise on earth… but is it really?

Just as I was about to dive with my grand daughter in June of 2007, I stopped her and we looked in awe at the giant prints of a very large lizard in the sand.

There was no doubt that the marks had belonged to a huge crocodile and that it had come from the sea. No need to say that swimming after that did not seem like such a good idea! Soon, in fact, we realized that guards were walking along the beach warning people and advising them not to go into the ocean!

Flash forward to Sept. 19 of this year, 13-year-old Dakota Kilbride was having fun surfing in Playa Hermosa, just south of Jaco. Dakota was suddenly attacked by a huge crocodile, and only the will to survive and fighting spirit saved his life as he struggled to stay on his board while the crocodile was trying to pull him into the water and to drown him. Dakota suffered severe bites on this ankle and leg and is now trying to recover from the terrifying ordeal.

Another youth, Brynan Sandi, literally ran for his life in Playa Azul and came out unharmed, a lucky escape! The crocodile chased him out of the water and onto the beach where he was able to get away. This, within three weeks of the first attack in the same Central Pacific region of Costa Rica.

The whole coast, from Puntarenas all the way to Esterillos is full of huge crocodiles during the mating season. Normally, the reptiles do not stray far from the rivers and estuaries of the region, but it is said that the crocodiles that show up in the ocean are the ones who lost a fight over a female crocodile during this season. They leave the rivers and cross through the sea in search for another river, maybe still looking for a mate. Some researchers also blame this new occurrence on development, stating that the natural habitat of the crocs is being destroyed, forcing them to move on to less inhabited regions. Crocodiles do not normally attack humans and this aggressive and frightening behavior is certainly out of the ordinary.

In Punta Leona, there are guards because the beach is part of a private beach club. At more popular Costa Rica beaches, signs have been posted stating the dangers of swimming during this season. There are other beaches however that are not protected or marked and surfers and swimmers go into the sea at their own risk, often unaware of the fact that crocs do occasionally go into the sea, in order to find the mouth of another river.

More and more surfers report the sighting of a few crocs passing by as they try and keep motionless on their boards. These crocodiles are huge and reach six meters in length. It is said that some crocodiles have been seen in swimming in Guanacaste and in the Caribbean as well, where there are no warnings either. It is therefore recommended to keep an eye out while swimming in the areas favored by the big reptiles! A crocodile of this size could easily catch and drown an adult in the worst scenario, or give the poor soul the freight of his or her life.

While neighbors of the danger areas and representatives from the Ministry of the Environment acknowledge that crocodiles do not attack humans out of the blue for feeding purposes, the recent attacks were due to the crocodiles feeling threatened by the presence of surf boards or swimmers in their path.

Source: Costa Rica Pages Blog

  • Frank

    Crocs and sharks are being exterminate by humans we need to protect this majestic animals!!! So our kids and their kids can see them one day.

  • JANO2

    Yes – when is the mating season?

  • Eloise2

    When is the mating season?

  • Caroline

    When is the mating season?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PRXTHLARQKK7YG5FRBITU6AXK4 Mireille

    Hello there Martin

    This is Mireille, the writer of the Crocodile article….I came upon it by surprise, actually was looking for an article of mine that I lost…..I know this happens all the time but it is nevertheless a surprise….

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PRXTHLARQKK7YG5FRBITU6AXK4 Mireille

    Hello there Martin

    This is Mireille, the writer of the Crocodile article….I mean, can we talk?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PRXTHLARQKK7YG5FRBITU6AXK4 Mireille

    Hello there Martin

    This is Mireille, the writer of the Crocodile article….I came upon it by surprise, actually was looking for an article of mine that I lost…..I know this happens all the time but it is nevertheless a surprise….

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PRXTHLARQKK7YG5FRBITU6AXK4 Mireille

    Hello there Martin

    This is Mireille, the writer of the Crocodile article….I mean, can we talk?

  • http://www.othersideboardsports.com/kiteboarding.html boarding

    Thanks for the information on this, I will certainly think twice before jumping in to the water, It has really scared me a lot.

  • boarding

    Thanks for the information on this, I will certainly think twice before jumping in to the water, It has really scared me a lot.

  • Pingback: Raging, Gargantuan Crocodile Terrorizes Australian Workers | The Fear Beneath

  • J Boy

    Shaun obviously has not seen the plethora of great white sharks that routinely patrol the beaches of Northern Santa Barbara County!

    If he had, he might advocate a more reasonable position.

  • J Boy

    Shaun obviously has not seen the plethora of great white sharks that routinely patrol the beaches of Northern Santa Barbara County!

    If he had, he might advocate a more reasonable position.

  • http://5ones.com Shaun

    Wow..Thanks for the response Martin! Greatly appreciated and very informative.
    I guess part of why I felt compelled to ask about that is my own dilemma I face when covering shark attacks and such. I absolutely adore everything about the ocean, all of it’s creatures. I think we’re both very aware that people are very interested(search traffic) in all things sharks. So I am still trying to find the balance in covering these stories without perpetuating any of the myths and fears surrounding sharks(and crocodiles). Its great to hear feedback like this and helps greatly in finding that happy medium.
    Thanks again, and please keep in touch!
    Shaun

  • http://5ones.com/ Shaun

    Wow..Thanks for the response Martin! Greatly appreciated and very informative.
    I guess part of why I felt compelled to ask about that is my own dilemma I face when covering shark attacks and such. I absolutely adore everything about the ocean, all of it’s creatures. I think we’re both very aware that people are very interested(search traffic) in all things sharks. So I am still trying to find the balance in covering these stories without perpetuating any of the myths and fears surrounding sharks(and crocodiles). Its great to hear feedback like this and helps greatly in finding that happy medium.
    Thanks again, and please keep in touch!
    Shaun

  • http://www.fearbeneath.com/blog Martin Brody

    Hi Shaun,

    Thanks for the kind words! We appreciate your readership and are glad that you enjoy the site. While we think that we understand where you’re coming from, we would like to point out that:

    1.) Crocodiles are carnivores, therefore, hunt meat, and could be said to have a “thirst for blood.” If you’ve seen a Nile Crocodile take down a full size wildebeest… well, it’s an impressive spectacle of carnage and feasting.

    2.) An invasion is ‘an incursion by a large number of people or things into a place or sphere of activity’ – and the story states that “the whole coast, from Puntarenas all the way to Esterillos is full of huge crocodiles during the mating season.” We feel that the use of the word is fair in such context.

    3.) Crocs are a real threat to those who unknowingly invade the animal’s habitat – our sister site, Savage Wilderness, just covered an a fatal attack by an allegedly 20-foot crocodile in Northern Australia!

    Now, let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment: ‘Bloodthirsty Crocodiles Invade Costa Rica’ is a whole lot more interesting *sounding* (and more likely to be read) than ‘Crocodiles Mate Near Beaches’ or some such – so that’s what we ran with.

    The Fear Beneath in no way encourages or supports the culling of crocodiles or the wholesale slaughter of sharks for any reason, be it fishing, hunting, or in response to attacks on humans. We do our best to be as vociferous about these atrocities as possible, because of our passion and beliefs in conservation and ecological preservation.

    Having said all that, we really appreciate you taking the time to post, and we regularly read 5ones and recommend it to our readers.

    MB

  • http://www.fearbeneath.com Martin Brody

    Hi Shaun,

    Thanks for the kind words! We appreciate your readership and are glad that you enjoy the site. While we think that we understand where you’re coming from, we would like to point out that:

    1.) Crocodiles are carnivores, therefore, hunt meat, and could be said to have a “thirst for blood.” If you’ve seen a Nile Crocodile take down a full size wildebeest… well, it’s an impressive spectacle of carnage and feasting.

    2.) An invasion is ‘an incursion by a large number of people or things into a place or sphere of activity’ – and the story states that “the whole coast, from Puntarenas all the way to Esterillos is full of huge crocodiles during the mating season.” We feel that the use of the word is fair in such context.

    3.) Crocs are a real threat to those who unknowingly invade the animal’s habitat – our sister site, Savage Wilderness, just covered an a fatal attack by an allegedly 20-foot crocodile in Northern Australia!

    Now, let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment: ‘Bloodthirsty Crocodiles Invade Costa Rica’ is a whole lot more interesting *sounding* (and more likely to be read) than ‘Crocodiles Mate Near Beaches’ or some such – so that’s what we ran with.

    The Fear Beneath in no way encourages or supports the culling of crocodiles or the wholesale slaughter of sharks for any reason, be it fishing, hunting, or in response to attacks on humans. We do our best to be as vociferous about these atrocities as possible, because of our passion and beliefs in conservation and ecological preservation.

    Having said all that, we really appreciate you taking the time to post, and we regularly read 5ones and recommend it to our readers.

    MB

    • Caroline

      Nobody is saying when the mating season is. Do you know?

      • JANO2

        December to April.  However, crocs don’t use calendars

  • http://5ones.com Shaun

    Hey guys-

    I’ve really enjoyed reading a lot of the posts on The Fear Beneath. Your coverage of the Smyrna attacks has been right on.
    I wonder, however, if headlines like ‘Bloodthirsty Crocodiles Invade Costa Rica’ might be taking it a little too far? What happened to Dakota is an absolute tragedy, but we definitely don’t want that to result in a situation where crocodiles are vilified for an isolated incident. We’ve(humans) have already done much more damage to croc and shark populations than they could ever do to us.
    Your thoughts?
    Thanks, and keep up the great work on your site!
    Shaun

  • http://5ones.com/ Shaun

    Hey guys-

    I’ve really enjoyed reading a lot of the posts on The Fear Beneath. Your coverage of the Smyrna attacks has been right on.
    I wonder, however, if headlines like ‘Bloodthirsty Crocodiles Invade Costa Rica’ might be taking it a little too far? What happened to Dakota is an absolute tragedy, but we definitely don’t want that to result in a situation where crocodiles are vilified for an isolated incident. We’ve(humans) have already done much more damage to croc and shark populations than they could ever do to us.
    Your thoughts?
    Thanks, and keep up the great work on your site!
    Shaun

    • Steven

      I met guy in Esterillos, a surfer and a local, that had half his calf bitten off by a croc in the water right where we just had gotten out from surfing. We had heard of incidents like this before , but to see someone was shocking and very real. So it happens, prob not often , but it does. Its probably worth being aware of during the season and proximity to rivers. I don’t think anyone should vilify crocs or need to start killing crocs off because of this reality and their nature, but its definitely important to be educated on it next time you paddle out.