The goal is to have an estimate of the number of crocodiles in these rivers and to start monitoring the passage of animals and also prevent possible attacks on people.
- Photo for illustration purposes only -
Published Wednesday, July 7, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
As a result of the recent displacement of crocodiles from their habitats to tourist sites due to conditions generated by the pandemic and interactions with people, specialists of the Tempisque Conservation Area began a study to better control these reptile populations in the northern zone of the Pacific Coast.
According to the organization, a study began a few months ago to estimate the population of crocodiles that inhabit the rivers that flow into the coast. The goal is to have an estimate of the number of crocodiles in these rivers and to start monitoring the passage of animals and also prevent possible attacks on people.
The goal is for “park rangers to know the diversity and status of wild crocodile populations to make decisions about their status and protection, carry out species samples that allow estimating their populations, and implement a management strategy to achieve coexistence with crocodiles and reduce attacks," Rafael Gutiérrez, executive director of the National System of Wild Conservation Areas said.
As part of the study, the first monitoring was carried out in the rivers Ora and Bongo in Puntarenas Province, and the monitoring work will continue until covering the areas near the border with Nicaragua.
It is expected that after the studies are done the authorities will release information on the location and management of these reptiles to reduce the risks of attacks.
Encounters between crocodiles and humans are common in Costa Rica. In April, there was report of a family finding a large reptile in their home bathroom.
The case happened in the Puerto Viejo town in Sarapiquí Canton, Heredia Province when a family had to call the police and the firefighters to get the reptile out of their house.
The crocodile was safely captured and relocated to its natural habitat in a nearby area, police said.
Also in April, the police of the Santa Cruz Canton delegation, in Guanacaste Province, found a crocodile inside a police house that was abandoned.
Park rangers from the Tempisque Conservation area and police officers captured the 3.15 meter-long reptile.
"Although the crocodile was safely returned to its natural habitat, there is concern about the risk that an animal like this was inside an abandoned place, where children or someone else could have entered in this place," the authorities of the National System of Conservation Areas said.
The country is home to the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). A large species that in adulthood can measure between 3 and 4 meters in length.
In case of an encounter with a crocodile, specialists recommend to keep your distance in order to avoid attacks. The animals can run at a maximum speed of just 10 miles per hour but humans can easily reach speeds of about 15 miles per hour.
They also recommend to:
* Never feed crocodiles.
* Never get close to take a photo.
* If you see the reptile in the water, get out as quickly as you can.
* Never enter spaces where it is known as crocodile habitat.
* Call 911 if you see a crocodile near your town.
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