Crocodile That Scared Tamarindo Tourists Moved to Nicoya Wildlife Area

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A crocodile that attacked a tourist last July in Tamarindo and caused consternation among beachgoers is no longer in the area: It now lives in a wildlife area in the canton of Nicoya.

On Oct. 16, rangers at Las Baulas National Marine Park along with scientists and volunteers captured an American crocodile identified has having caused the incident on July 22.

Yeimy Cedeño, coordinator of the Tempisque Wildlife Conservation Area, said the “extreme measure” was taken after several weeks of continuous monitoring and an analysis by scientific experts who concluded the animal did not display normal behavior due to the habits of people visiting the area.

“The illegal feeding of wild animals is what caused this individual (the crocodile) to do what it did (attack a tourist), because it had become considerably brazen,” Cedeño said.

She clarified that the decision is not standard procedure for all of the country’s crocodiles. Rather, the step was taken after determining the animal could be a danger to the public.

Cedeño also said the attack on the tourist did not happen in open ocean at Playa Tamarindo, as some news media had reported, but rather in the estuary.

Crocodile expert Laura Porras, from the National University, previously told The Voice of Guanacaste that crocodiles are not overpopulating beaches as commonly thought, but rather navigate the ocean to move to nearby rivers and lagoons.