The rainy season has arrived in Costa Rica, and with it comes the start of crocodile mating season. This is a time when dominant males become more aggressive and territorial, and they may expel other individuals from their territory. This can force crocodiles to move to new areas, where they may not be as familiar with the surroundings.
The National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) has warned tourists and residents to be aware of the potential presence of crocodiles in new areas during this time and has been placing signs and organizing campaigns to raise awareness and inform about the measures to be followed to minimize risks.
“We’ve been redoubling our efforts to inform the population through campaigns on social media and other channels. We hope to sensitize communities and visitors about the proper care of human-wildlife interactions. These efforts are planned to be replicated in other Conservation Areas where these animals are present,” SINAC highlighted.
They have also issued a number of safety tips, including:
- Avoid swimming or playing in estuaries or river mouths, especially with children.
- Ask neighbors if crocodiles have been seen in the area before entering a pond or river.
- Never feed crocodiles.
- Do not leave food around when camping.
- Do not try to interact with, capture, or deal with a crocodile.
- Do not approach crocodiles.
- Respect and obey the signage in certain areas.
If you see a crocodile in the wild, a river, a beach, or an estuary, stay away and inform those around you. In case of an attack or emergency, call 911 or inform the nearest SINAC office.
Crocodiles are an important part of the Costa Rican ecosystem, and they should be respected. By following these safety tips, you can help to ensure that both humans and crocodiles can coexist safely.
Here are some additional facts about crocodiles in Costa Rica:
- There are two species of crocodiles found in Costa Rica: the American crocodile and the caiman.
- Crocodiles are found in almost all bodies of water in Costa Rica, including rivers, lakes, lagoons, and estuaries.
- Crocodiles are territorial and can be aggressive, especially during mating season.
- Crocodiles are apex predators and prey on a variety of animals, including fish, turtles, birds, and mammals.
- Crocodiles are an important part of the Costa Rican ecosystem and play a role in controlling populations of other animals.
Keep in mind that in Costa Rica, crocodiles are present on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. They can be found in almost any body of water and remain in fresh, salt, and brackish water. Therefore, caution should be exercised when visiting all habitats.
By following the safety tips outlined by SINAC, you can help to ensure that your visit to Costa Rica is safe and enjoyable.