The American Crocodile
(Cocodrilo) Crocodylus acutus
Of the 21 existing crocodiles in the world, the American crocodile is an endangered species found in the low parts of the Pacific and the Atlantic regions of Costa Rica. Once hunted for their beautiful skin for fashion handbags, shoes, and belts, their numbers dropped dramatically, resulting in strict conservation measures. Consequently, American crocodile populations have since witnessed an admirable recovery and today these prehistoric reptiles can be seen with increasing regularity in rivers and lagoons. This crocodile was found in the river bed of a stream in our zone of Guanacaste and brought to Monkey Park by MINAET in early 2003.
Although primarily fish eaters, American crocodiles will generally consume almost anything they can get a hold of. The problematic crocodiles which we periodically hear of are individuals that humans feed on a regular basis; this leads to a very dangerous situation as the crocodile learns to follow the human for a free handout.