- With its almost five meters long, 445 kilos of weight and more than 70 teeth, Pocho is the favorite mascot of the Costa Rican fisherman Gilberto Shedden.
- This human relationship – Crocodile is unique in the world and has attracted the attention of dozens of scientists.
- Ago 20 years Shedden found moribund crocodile in a river and decided to heal him and take care of it.
- Pocho has some 50 years of age and could live 30 more.
With its almost five meters long, 445 kilos of weight and more than 70 teeth, Pocho is the favorite mascot of Gilberto Shedden, better known as Chito, a Costa Rican fisherman that has become known as the only person in the world that has achieved “tame” a crocodile. With a huge smile on his face, Chito, of 54 years, anything calmly with Pocho in a pond on his farm in the town of Siquirres, a few 70 miles east of San Jose. But not just anything with him: He has taught to do various tricks like shooting on his body, give the leg, Sustaining head and tail high and to close an eye.
The relationship between man and Crocodile is close and unique in the world and is the reason why dozens of scientists, experts in animal behavior and journalists visit the home of Chito, his wife, his daughter and his crocodile every year.
I gave him to eat chickens. At first it was all ugly, skinny and malnourished and then proceeded already chubby
The history of Chito and Pocho is pure friendship. Ago 20 years found to the dying crocodile in the Parismina River, in the area of the Caribbean, because a farmer shot by eating their calves on the shore. The fisherman, He had then 34 years, so he boarded their boat and took him to his house to take advantage of your leather, but to spend the days without the animal died he decided to cure it and feed it.
His wife, Olga Valley, account laughs that the arrival of Pocho was a secret Chito saved for months and that was a mystery where going at night. Now ensures that, Although she feels much respect by the crocodile because “will always be a wild animal”, Pocho is without doubt part of his family.
In fact, Chito is the only person that swims with Pocho. Every Sunday afternoon to make a show for tourists and disbelief people, arriving from all Costa Rica to check if the skill of this “Tico Tarzan” (stage name of Chito) is real or a trick.
Every Sunday afternoon to make a show for tourists and disbelief
With a characteristic and contagious joy, Chito puts singing and dancing Caribbean rhythms to curious visitors before launching into the water with complete confidence. He claims that Pocho is grateful to save life and does not hesitate to say that this enormous crocodile is your best friend, and that between both there is a bond that no one else can understand.
Costa Rican authorities are aware of Pocho and their unique behavior and maintain a constant evaluation. The crocodile is monitored by biologists and veterinarians, but none enters the lagoon where it occurs. “They tell me what I have to do and I do it because nobody dares to put on the water“, Chito says, speaking of indications which include medical examinations, Food and even give medications if necessary.
Pocho is eaten between six and eight chickens, some more fish, about three times per week. It has some 50 years of age and could live some 30 more. In 20 years of life “in family”, the fisherman has never been hurt by the crocodile, that it does not have the same friendly attitude with other people.
Even, each 1 January Chito performs a single trick: He puts his hand and his head in the huge mouth of Pocho. “I do so because it is the first day of the year and I know that he not going to eat that day“, jokes this daring fisherman, with its endless good humour and her singular smile.
Pocho died in the early hours of Wednesday 12 October of the 2011 for reasons unknown.
|Up Siquirres have reached hundreds of letters and calls of condolence. They are aimed at a desolate Chito, the ' compa’ of the animal, as he liked to define the caretaker. They did not take more than a few minutes of talk to realize the great link linking them: “We had a certain chemistry. Sometimes I would me one week and Pocho was Salve, but just appeared and I was among the trees, He fell in action”, we entrusted his friend in the intimacy of the Caribbean estate himself developed to take care of Pocho.|
|The death of the animal occurred when Chito was thinking about retiring. Not for tiredness of the crocodile (its species can reach the century of life), but because it wanted to close his career with a flourish. I had thought in a special celebration for the 1000 ' shows’ together with Pocho, before hanging up the loincloth and create brochures for local schools, to demonstrate to children that man can live in harmony with animals. Had even planned to write the feat of the crocodile in the book ' Guiness’ records.|