The Croc Family visit

June 11, 2021 • Fauna

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Crocodiles are surely one of the most feared creatures in the world, and we have several movies, most with questionable effects and storylines, to thank for.

Siva Ashram borders the Nosara river so we are lucky to sometimes catch a quick glimpse of a crocodile passing by, enjoying a nice swim or even catching a bit of sun on the riverbank. The presence of these magnificent animals is good news – great news actually! They are a sign of a balanced and healthy ecosystem with plenty of food for them and many other animals to enjoy. Due to this we respect them greatly and are grateful to have them as neighbors.

That said, neighbors can sometimes have sneaky moments and we need to prepare to handle them in the best possible way. Recently, while our crew was working on the gardens and moving some things around in the area bordering the river, they ran into something they did not expect: two infant American crocodiles hiding under a few blocks of wood! Surprise, surprise! These two little rascals were most likely just enjoying their newfound freedom after spending the first weeks of their lives very close to mama croc and decided to venture out and explore a bit further away from the water.

Fortunately, soon after the initial shock hit the group, our crew leader, Jorge, who had similar encounters in the past and knew what to do, safely removed them from the gardens and returned them to the river so they could keep on with their adventures.

Now, this is a good “kids, do not try this at home” moment. As with any encounter with a wild animal, if you are not trained or experienced in handling them or are uncertain on how they may react, we advise to keep a safe distance and let the animal carry on. If there is a threat to your safety or someone else’s, stay at a safe distance and dial 9-1-1 to request assistance from the local authorities.

Although they are associated by many with fear and danger, as with all wild creatures, they do prefer keeping a safe distance from their main predators: human beings. It is safe to say that we are far more dangerous to crocodiles than they are to us. That said, it is best to not test our luck and to keep a responsible distance because, should they need to defend themselves, they sure can. The American crocodile can charge up to nearly 16 km/h (10 mph) and swim at as much as 32 km/h (20 mph)!

These top-of -the-food-chain spectacular creatures are quite common in Costa Rica, particularly the American crocodile, which can comfortably live in any kind of water environment, fresh or saltwater.

We have not seen these two little adventurers at the gardens again, but can imagine them having a great time swimming up and down the Nosara river while mama croc relaxes on the riverbank.