The crocodile is perhaps one of the most feared predators in the world. These massive, carnivorous reptiles are voracious predators that hunt by ambushing their prey next to waterways from the Amazon all the way to the Outback.
No one in their right mind would choose to consort with these terrifying monsters. Well, except for Chito Shedden, a fisherman from Siquirres, Costa Rica. When he happened upon one of these giant creatures, dying on the banks of a river he did something that no one else in the world would think to do: no one sane, anyway…
The American Crocodile is perhaps one of the deadliest predators living in North, Central, and South America. They can weigh up to 850 lbs and have been known to grow up to 16 ft long. They are also considered to have the strongest bite in the animal kingdom, exerting up to 5,000lbs per square inch. Needless to say, they are animals that most people will generally avoid if possible.
Gilberto “Chito” Shedden. Shedden was a simple fisherman and tour guide born and raised in Siquirres, Limón Province, Costa Rica. Chito also liked to dabble a bit as an amateur naturalist and acquired a broad range of interesting nature facts along the way, which helped his tour business quite a bit. Life was easy for Chito and wholly uncomplicated. That was until he happened upon Pocho…
The year was 1989, and Chito was walking along the banks of the Reventazón River when he happened upon something very strange. There, on the banks of the river, was a dying male crocodile. When he stepped up to investigate the skinny, 150 lb reptile, he realized it had been shot through the head and the left eye by a local cattle rancher.
He knew, as dangerous as it was, he couldn’t leave the poor animal there, alone and helpless. Chito acted quickly, enlisting the help of several brave friends to load the heavy reptile into his boat. He knew if he just got the animal back to his home, he could heal it, then release it back into the wild. He named the massive reptile, “Pocho” which means strength and began to care for him in his own backyard….
The altruistic fisherman started to heal Pocho with a combination of medicine, food, and, more importantly, lots of care and attention. Chito fed the crocodile a steady diet of chicken and fish. He procured medicine to stave off infection and even stayed by his side at night, going as far as to sleep right next to him at night.