A 65-year-old Oaxaca fisherman who had stretched out on the sand for nap last Friday morning received a rude awakening when a crocodile measuring over two meters long attacked.
The attack occurred on the Boca Barra beach in Santa María Colotepec, just east of the popular tourist destination, Puerto Escondido.
Despite the animal’s size the man, identified as Amadeo Barrera, was able to escape and was treated by paramedics before being taken to the hospital in Puerto Escondido.
He suffered lacerations to his arm, leg and head by the crocodile’s teeth and claws, but was reported in stable condition.
State Civil Protection head Heliodoro Díaz said the animal was not in its normal habitat. Boca Barra beach is located where the Colotepec river meets the Pacific Ocean, but the crocodiles aren’t known to make their way so close to the river’s mouth.
Locals have reported that higher water levels in rivers, streams and lagoons has increased the risk of crocodiles leaving their established areas, and also the likelihood that they will attack animals or people.
Municipal authorities have requested that the environmental protection agency Profepa verify that crocodiles have not relocated to smaller lagoons near populated areas.