Up close and personal with Person eating crocs

Trip Start Jul 24, 2012
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Trip End Jul 28, 2012


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What I did
American Crocodiles in the Rio Tarcotes

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Friday, July 27, 2012

    Driving north from Jaco on road number 34 the road crosses the river of Tarcotes (Rio Tarcotes) just north of the Carara National Park. We have been told that 30 to 40 American Crocodiles inhabit the waters below the bridge. The bridge is such a popular area for crocodiles that the Costa Rican police station several officers there to protect the tourist from various dishonest persons, as in previous times cars were broken in to and tourist were harassed. We decided to find the bridge and have a look.

    When we found the bridge, there were a number of other cars along the side of the road, and there was a pretty good area to park the car. The bridge is relatively narrow and the walking area is even narrower. An attendant told us what side of the bridge was best for viewing and I understood him to say there were currently about 25 crocodiles visible. That was about all the Spanish I understood, he did say in English that he would watch the car.

    Kathy and I carefully walk to the center of the bridge, where a number of others were observing the gargantuan beasts. There were cars and trucks speeding by, but the sight was something. There were over thirty of the animals visible and some were over 15 ft long. Huge! There were crocs sunning themselves some were just floating in the water as others were propelling themselves through the river water with their tails. I cannot imagine there was enough food available for such a large population in this confined area. They are something to watch. 

    The bridge is about 15 – 20 feet above the water surface, so it was easy to see how large these crocodiles have grown. There is something to be said for being that close to these animals with the traffic speeding by, what a thrill.

    We walked back to the vehicle, all the while watching the bank of the river, I was sure that is where the beasts built their nest and layed their eggs. There was some fencing that I imagine kept the cattle from getting to close to the crocs, but it was a three strand barbed wire fence that wouldn't have stopped the crocs from being up close and personal with the local cattle.  I also can imagine that if someone wasn't careful they could fall over the edge of the bridge and unless the crocs were cold, they could give you a run for your money. A whole lot different experience than the running of the bulls in Spain.

    There was an ambulance on the north side of the bridge next to a souvenir stand and restaurant. So in any event there was some assistance available.
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