Late last month an eight year old boy was attacked and taken away by a large crocodile while swimming in a river with his family outside of Cuatro Millas de Matina, Limon.
After nearly a month of waiting for officials to find the boy and the animal, local residents took matters into their own hands. They formed a hunting party over the weekend and set out to find the crocodile they believed was responsible for the attack. They found the crocodile and they killed it. The crocodile was over four meters in length.
The crocodile was cut open and they allegedly they found the child’s bones and scalp inside. They then contacted the local authorities from the Office Of Judicial Investigations (OIJ) and turned over what is believed to be the boy’s remains in a plastic bag.
Social media in Costa Rica was full of comments critical of the government’s lack of action in finding the boy or the dangerous animal and that but for local residents nothing would have been done. Many believed that since it was a poor boy in a poor part of the country officials did not give the attack the proper attention.
In response the Costa Rica government authority in charge of investing the event, SINAC, returned to area. They decided to file a criminal complaint for the illegal killing of the crocodile against those responsible with the same OIJ office that the bag of remains were given too. SINAC points out that under the Wildlife Conservation Law hunting is illegal in Costa Rica.
When asked why they took so long to return to the area to continue the search for the boy or crocodile, they blamed “bad weather.”
Unfortunately for the SINAC authorities, nobody could remember who killed the crocodile and therefore, without any witnesses, it is unlikely and further action will be taken by OIJ against the alleged hunters.