15. THE CROC
Crocodiles are violent creatures. If they’re hungry, there’s nothing that can stop them from latching out, grabbing your throat and devouring you in one bite. However, according to their natural instincts and thoughts, crocodiles don’t tend to be violent when their belly is full. Regardless, no one will ever approach one of these creatures because they’re just terrified of them. But the same cannot be said for Chito Sheddan from Costa Rico. He found a crocodile on his last breaths and did something none of us can…
Crocodiles aren’t specific to only one location and can be found anywhere in the world. A croc is at the top of the reptilian food chain and has a bite strength of 5,000 square per square inch. It weight over a 1,000 pounds and can grow up to 16 ft. If you’ve never seen a croc, you might be beginning to understand why people are terrified of them. And, that is what makes Chito Sheddan’s story so much more exciting.
13. CHITO SHEDDAN
Chito Sheddan is a local fisherman who found a dying croc on the side of a river. He named it Poncho. He’s not only a fisherman, but also a naturalist and tour guide from the Limon Province. He decided tot take the dying croc back home and nursed it to health.
Poncho was a skinny 150 lbs croc that was shot in the head and in one eye. The shots probably came from a shepherd trying to protect his cattle. Not many people would pity a vicious creature dying, but the danger of the predator didn’t make Chito shy away from his moral obligation.
11. WHAT WAS IT GOING TO TAKE?
Even though the reptile was small and injured, he could have killed Chito without much trouble. He asked his friends to carry the croc to his boat so he could take it home. He named it Poncho, meaning ‘strength’. Something that both man and beast needed…
12. THE PERFECT NURSE
Chito never left Poncho’s side. They spent so many days together and Chito even slept next to him. He was constantly purchasing medication and feeding him till the wounds were ale to head themselves. Poncho did begin to recognize and respect the farmer. This is a quality that we didn’t think crocs could have.
9. THE BOND
It took quite a few months for the recovery to complete. During that time, Poncho was fed by hand. This was the love that the reptile needed in order to survive and it was more powerful that any medication. Chito loved the reptile like his own pet, even though he could potentially kill him at any spot. It wouldn’t be far fetched to say that Chito taught the meaning of love to an animal that didn’t know anything about it before.
8. THE SACRIFICES
What most people don’t know is that Chito’s marriage ended due to his friendship with a croc. His wife didn’t want to live in a house with a dangerous reptile and this ended his marriage. His wife left the house. When asked about it, Chito said that he didn’t feel bad because he knew there was something more special between him and Poncho.
7. RETURNING TO THE WILD
Chito did exactly what he promised to poncho and released him to the wild once again. When he was strong enough, Chito and his friends loaded the croc onto a boat and took him back to where they found him. However, when Poncho woke up, something astonishing happened.
6. COMING BACK HOME
Instead of staying in the river, Poncho followed Chito’s boat back home and surprised him in the morning. Chito made the decision and took the croc to his lake. And, it goes without saying, the two got even closer.
5. A NEW LIFE
Chito eventually remarried and had a beautiful daughter. Chito saw the affection the croc had for him and he thought that he could be trained even more. To keep his daughter safe, he forbade her to get close to Poncho without her father present. He was sure nothing would happen but, you never know…
4. A LONG PROCESS
Poncho wasn’t easy to train. It took Chito 10 years to calm his predator senses. A dog is much easier because they don’t have to hunt to eat. And, this is something that was woven into Poncho’s DNA. But, overt
ime, they swam together and Poncho knew not to hurt his savior.
3. GETTING FAMOUS
It’s obvious that something so unique would go unnoticed. Their relationship spread like wildfire and it started to attract tourists and locals alike. The croc is so friendly now that they recreate acts every Sunday. Neither of the two thought that their friendship would take such a drastic turn, but nature created this opportunity and neither of them rejected it.
2. THE DOCUMENTARY
Chito figured that their unique relationship needed to be documented, and that’s why a piece was created with the name “The Man Who Swam With Crocodiles”. It was speculated that the gunshots caused brain damage. The brain damage took out the predator out of Poncho and made him more vulnerable to human contact. It’s not everyday that sad wounds turn into something so inspirational.
1. FRIENDS TO THE END
Crocodiles can only live up to seventy years and because of the injuries Poncho sustained, he was only able to live for 50. On October 12, 2011, Poncho passed away from natural causes. But, Poncho made sure that he would be remembered by hosting a grand funeral that was unlike anything else. He might have passed away, but the bond is everlasting.