*Just in case you think you might be seeing things as you look at the photo above. You kind of are. You are seeing a crocodile named ‘Poncho’ kissing a man named Chito Shedden, a fisherman who saw him injured and alone, and rounded up a group of brave friends to lift the croc and take him to safety.
The reptile reportedly lay dying on a river bank in Siquirres, Costa Rica when the fisherman spotted him. Snedden, a tour guide by trade, kind of fancies himself as an amateur naturalist and as such has learned a few things.
Obviously, how to wrangle in a crocodile without being eaten alive is one!
Crocs generally weigh upwards of 850lbs. and grow as big as 16 feet long. But when he first came upon this croc, the year was 1989, and it was skinny — weighing only 150 lbs. The animal had been shot through the head and left eye by a cattle rancher.
Chito knew that he could not…would not, leave the animal there to die. He knew that he could help the animal heal if he could get it into his boat and take it home.
That’s exactly what he and his friends did. And Chito cared for the animal in his backyard.
Poncho, whose name means strength, was healed with a variety of medicines and foods and TLC. Each day he was fed a steady diet of chicken and fish; and given meds to stave off infection. Chito even slept by the animals side many nights.
Yes, in the above picture, Chito is encouraging Poncho to eat. The fisherman says affection played a huge part in the reptiles healing. “The crocodile needed my love to regain the will to live,” he said.
Its a good thing Chito had Poncho because his wife left him! At first she was cool with her husband doing such a kind thing. But eventually she felt he was spending too much time with the reptile and she straight up LEFT HIM!
Eventually, Poncho healed and Chito and his friends put the reptile back on the boat and took him to his river in the wild. Although it was hard to say goodbye to Poncho, Chito did and came back home.
But guess what Chito saw when he woke up the next morning.
Let the good times roll!