Photo by the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica (MSP)
Photo by the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica (MSP)

COSTA RICA NEWS -Authorities in Costa Rica are making a call to be careful when diving into rivers, ponds and lakes around the country, especially in areas where crocodiles are common or have been reported spotted.

The advice of locals is best.

Just last Friday, a group of swimmers taking refuge from the heat in a pond (poza) in río Cañas, in barrio Hotel Cañas, Guanacaste, found themselves swimming with a 3.5 metre long croc.

The group learned of the aminal’s presence when one of them, curious to see what was in the water, touched “the thing” with a stick, and the crocodile moved.

The group ‘flew’ out of the water and alerted police.

Henry Quesada, head of the Fuerza Publica (police) Cañas detachment, was one who participated in the mission to get the “coco” (a local reference to a crocodile) out of the water.

With the help of some of the swimmers and locals, police were able to capture the croc and tie it up, and wait for the bomberos (fire department) to arrive at the scene to tranquilize the animal. The animal was then loaded onto the patrol pickup and taken to the private refuge Terrapez, run by a local Tilapia breeder and exporter, where the animal will be under the care of a biologist until authorities can find a safe place to relocate it.

Again, keep an eye open for crocs before going for a swim.