Entering murky, crocodile infested waters is pretty much everyone’s idea of a living nightmare. For a fisherman called Chito, deep within the Costa Rican jungle, this is something he does by choice.
One day, when he was heading to the water’s edge, he noticed that a crocodile was lying stranded after being shot in the face by a cattle farmer. He was slowly dying a painful death, and Chito recognized that he needed to do something to help the beast who was lying in agonizing pain.
However, what Chito did to help the crocodile really goes above and beyond anything we’ve ever encountered, when it comes to human kindness towards wild animals. Considering crocodiles are considered to be the most dangerous and aggressive species on planet earth, his actions are bordering on the insane when you first hear about them!
He decided to drag the enormous crocodile into his small fishing boat and take him to his home. Chito then nursed the croc back to health, even sleeping by his side when he was starting to make slow improvements. He decided to call the crocodile Pocho. Chito recalls the story:
“I stayed by Pocho’s side while he was ill, sleeping next to him at night. I just wanted him to feel that somebody loved him, that not all humans are bad. It meant a lot of sacrifice. I had to be there every day. I love all animals – especially the ones that have suffered.”
After months of care, Chito realized that the time had come to release Pocho back into the wild. He took him to a lake close to his home and released him into the water. He discovered that if he called Pocho’s name, the croc would swim towards him.
Chito then spent months studying Pocho’s behavior, and eventually decided to enter the water with the crocodile. Over time, Pocho would allow Chito to stroke him and even play with him in the water. Now, as you can see from this incredible video footage, the pair are like the best of friends, and the trust they have for one another is clear for all to see.
But what does this story tell us more than anything else? Well, it shows the depth of bond that is possible between man and a creature that is perceived to be amongst the deadliest in the world. In a friendship that has lasted more than twenty years, Pocho has never once harmed Chito or even attempted to lash out at him.
With a story like this, we must leave the last words with Chito, the man who saved the life of a creature that the vast majority of us would consider unworthy of a second chance:
“He’s my friend. I don’t want to treat him like a slave or exploit him. I am happy because I rescued him and he is happy with me because he has everything he needs.”
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