It wasn’t only sunburnt tourists basking in the sunny Pacific beaches last weekend.
According to the Public Security Ministry, police in the central Pacific beach town of Jacó had been receiving reports of a large crocodile lurking in the area, but despite several attempts to catch it, the croc eluded police until Monday afternoon.
A local lifeguard spotted the sleeping 660-pound reptile on Playa Claritas, south of Jacó, and asked police to help him relocate it to a less-populated area. Environment Ministry wildlife handlers and cops finally manged to captured the crocodile, tying it to a stretcher.
The crocodile is now in Carara National Park pending transport to the northwestern province of Guanacaste, where it will be released in an unpopulated area.
According to reports from several tourism agencies, crocodiles are appearing more frequently in tourist areas on the Pacific coast. Environmental groups say part of the cause is habitat destruction and human encroachment.
Read more about the challenges crocodile conservationists face here: Costa Rica’s crocodile conundrum