Puerto Vallarta doesn’t have a crocodile problem, it has a people problem

Crocodiles are species that have lived in Puerto Vallarta for thousands of years, they were living in the area before people were here and were present before the area was developed as a tourist destination, crocodile, specialist and handler Armando Rubio Delgado and Jaime Torres Guerrero, director of the El Saldo estuary, agree.

The immediacy of social networks makes it seem that there is an overpopulation of crocodiles when in reality there are no more than a couple of hundred of them in the area. About 250 specimens, of which about 30 are adults, that is, they exceed 2.5 meters in length, the rest are young specimens. However, there is an overpopulation of humans within the crocodile habitat.

This weekend a crocodile caused a stir on social media, after the capture of a crocodile, about 3 meters long, on a Puerto Vallarta beach, which was relocated.

Crocodiles have been demonized even by arguing “attacks” on human beings, as happened last month with a couple of foreign tourists who were attacked by a crocodile after they ignored warning signs and entered the Bay at night, which has always been warned against.

Armando Rubio Delgado, recalled that from 2018 to date there have been 5 human-crocodile encounters, which have several coincidences, among them that they are foreigners who enter the sea without respecting the alerts, that they were under the influence of alcohol, and that all of them ignored the crocodile warning signs, and always night swimmers, which isn’t recommended.

It is untrue that there is an overpopulation of crocodiles, that they are invading areas where “there were none before, and that they attack, when in fact, they only bite when they feel threatened,” explained Rubio Delgado. Crocodiles do not hunt humans, but they do protect their habitat and are nocturnal, so they are more active at night, which is, why, again, people should not swim in the Bay at night.

Therefore, the following recommendations are necessary:

Respect the signs (purple flag) and the signs that explicitly indicate the presence of crocodiles in the area.

Do not swim in the warning zone

Do not swim at night

If you see a crocodile, keep a minimum distance of 15 meters

Leave the area the same way you arrived, where you know it’s safe

Report your presence through 911

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