On Sunday, May 28th we received our largest visitor to date! A female American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) was found close to the road for a second time in the south Caribbean coast of Costa Rica in the community of Gandoca, Costa Rica. The MINAE (Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía), with the help of the local police and firemen, brought her here to the Jaguar Rescue Center
. She came to us with amputated fingers due to an unknown cause. Our veterinary team cleaned the wound and she needed about 10 stitches to close it. The crocodile stayed with us for about one week until we were given the permission to release her.
On Friday June 2nd, with the help of the MINAE, Police, and firemen, we transported the crocodile to a new area to release her. With Police and firemen escorts we took her to a beautiful area along the riverside. Before releasing her, she was measured at 3,48 m! The sheer size of this female American Crocodile indicates that she has lived an impressively long life. Once released, we waited to see if she would enter the water and swim away but she decided to stay on the riverbank.
These amazing creatures are something to be admired not scared of. Though they can grow 15-18 feet or 5-6 meters with powerful jaws and a lot of teeth they are animals that have incredible abilities and deserve the utmost respect. Returning a reptile of this size to the wild to continue their life is an amazing accomplishment for our center!