1. The Crocodile.
Among reptiles a highly known, extremely vexatious species of reptilian predators are crocodiles. Many find crocodiles as violent reptiles but an uncommon fact is that these creatures are only harmful when they feel warned or when it’s hungry. Crocodiles are a living link with dinosaurs-type reptiles from ancient times. Their fierce appearance and strength terrify people. However, Chito Shedden, of Costa Rica is a brave man who did something astonishing when he found a dying crocodile at a riverside.
2. About Crocodiles.
Crocodiles are mostly found in tropical areas of Africa, Australia, Asia, North and South America. These large reptiles grow up to 16ft in length and weigh over more than 1000lbs. A crocodile’s jaw can bear a pressure of 5000 pounds per square inch. Hence it’s obvious to feel feared. But Shedden on the other hand made things more interesting.
3. Chito Shedden
Chito Shedden is a local fisherman who found the dying croc at the Reventazón River, he named it Poncho. When Poncho was nearly dying, Chito didn’t just leave him there but instead, he took care of him. Chito isn’t just a fisherman but he is an amateur naturalist and a tour guide of Costa Rica.
When the crocodile was found he weighs only 150lbs. Poncho was skinny and unhealthy. As Chito reached closer he saw that Poncho had been shot in the head and the left eye. Probably a local cattle rancher shot the croc in order to protect his herd. Even though the damage was highly serious, Chito wanted to save him. He knew this was a serious risk but his decision to help Poncho didn’t change.
5. How He Helped Poncho.
Even though the crocodile was weak and severely injured, it could possibly still attack a human. Hence Chito asked some of his friends to help him carry the croc to the boat so that he can take him home and take care of it and bring it back to the healthy stage and finally send it back to this home. So he named it poncho which defines as strength. This isn’t an easy process but they were willing to make it happen.
6. Best Doctor And Caretaker.
Poncho was blessed to be taken cared by Chito. He provided Poncho with all the required treatments and medicines and led the wounds heal by its own with time. Chito always stayed by his side. He fed Poncho fish and chicken. As time passed by they admired and showed gratitude towards each other. Poncho healed not just because of treatments but the loving and kindness that Chito showed, his compassion healed Poncho.
7. Their Bond.
During the next months, Chito even fed Poncho by hand and even imitated his chewing process to encourage Poncho to eat. Chito felt that the crocodile needs loving-kindness in order to live in a previous manner. Poncho became Chito’s pet and this showed that even a wild animal like a crocodile can be adoring. Chito’s devotion to Poncho made it possible to believe.
8. What Chito Gave Up.
This is the most painful part of this story, because of Poncho, Chito had to give up his marriage life. Due to the relationship formed between Chito and the croc, Chito’s marriage ended. His wife decided to leave him because she didn’t agree with his connection with Poncho. When Chito was asked about this he said that he didn’t feel sad because he knew there was something unique about his new friend.
9. Back To The Wild.
As the croc became strong and healthy, his plan was to send him back to where he belongs. Again with the support of his friends, he carried Poncho to the boat and took him to where he was found. Even though it is painful to say goodbye. Chito knew that it was the right thing to do. However, something surprising happened to Chito afterward.
10. Returning Where Poncho Belongs.
Poncho instead of staying at his home followed the boat and surprised Chito the next day. Chito found the croc sleeping on this porch. That was something unexpected to see. Chito thought that the croc decided to live with him already so he moved Poncho to the lake beside his land. And thereafter this special bond between these two developed more and more.
11. A New Beginning.
A new chapter in Chito’s life started as he decided to remarry and he had a beautiful daughter. He got the family that he always wished to have. Chito realized that Poncho reacted to his name and decided to train the croc more. He took all the precautionary steps to safeguard his little daughter because there is always a risk. With time Poncho learned more and more.
12. It Was A Long Process.
It took over more than 10 years to train Poncho. Chito had to regularly interact with the croc to make him more playful and make him respond to his touches. They would swim together to develop the special bond that only they shared. By spending personal time they made their bond even stronger. This is not equal to training a dog because this reptile is more of the highly predatory type so it wasn’t an easy task to train a poncho, but being with his savior he managed to learn more daily.
13. Their Wonderful Relationship.
This unusual relationship between a human and a crocodile grabbed the attention of both locals and tourists. They were such a fascinating duo and ultimately this bond created them the opportunity to perform in front of others although this was something they never imagined to do. They performed in their very own backyard every Sunday. What’s even more special about them is that this is completely natural and them just playing with each other. Anyone who sees this is capable to understand what a strong bond they shared. This all began because every morning Chito would go swimming in the lake and every time he calls Poncho we would be there and playfully roll around his savoir.
14. Their Life.
This special bond couldn’t be any more emotive. So they made their own documentary to tell the entire world about their unique relationship. This film is titled “The Man Who Swims With Crocodiles”. However, there is a prediction that due to the gunshot in the head, this damaged Poncho’s brain and made him less aggressive than he’s supposed to be naturally. The damages caused to his brain perhaps affected him to be more attracted towards human interactions and kindness. Because it’s impossible to think other crocodiles would be as Poncho.
15. Best Friends Forever.
Mostly healthy grown crocodiles live up to 70 years but as for Poncho, with the severe damage caused for him, he surprisingly managed to survive 50 years. This unique duo spent one last time together on 12th October 2011. Poncho passed away due to natural causes. Even though Poncho is no more, Chito made sure to make his funeral memorable. This was the first public emotional funeral for a crocodile that will go down in history.
This special story of two unique friends is always memorable because Chito showed how loving-kindness and compassion even towards wild animals can create such beautiful bonds.