Tour Guide Feeds 17 Foot Crocodile

To most of us, hand-feeding crocodiles might sound like a one-way ticket to a watery grave. But for Jose Eduardo Chaves Salas, 32, coming within inches of the fearsome creatures’ razor-sharp teeth is all in a day’s work. He runs Jose’s Crocodile River Tour on the Tarcoles River in Costa Rica, where tourists can watch him feed crocs up to 17 feet long.

“At first it’s very scary to be next to these huge creatures in their natural habitat, but with time and practice you lose the nerves and get used to it”, Jose said. The croc whisperers are based in the town of Tarcoles, in Central Pacific Costa Rica, around an hour’s drive from the capital of San José where Jose was born. Despite their terrifying reputation, the Costa Rican is keen to dispel the idea that crocodiles are aggressive and out-of-control. “They are not violent or dangerous if you are knowledgeable about them and know how to work with them”, Jose said.


A tour guide dangles a piece of meat above the open jaws of a crocodile on the banks of the Tarcoles river in Tarcoles, Costa Rica. (Barcroft Media)


Tour goers watch from the safety of the boat as a guide feeds a crocodile from the bank of the Tarcoles river in Tarcoles, Costa Rica. (Barcroft Media)


A crocodile seen up close on the Tarcoles river in Tarcoles, Costa Rica. (Barcroft Media)


A tour guide dangles a piece of meat above the head of a crocodile on the banks of the Tarcoles river in Tarcoles, Costa Rica. (Barcroft Media)


A crocodile seen up close on the Tarcoles river in Tarcoles, Costa Rica. (Barcroft Media)


A tour guide drops a piece of meat into the open jaws of a crocodile on the Tarcoles river in Tarcoles, Costa Rica. (Barcroft Media)


A tour guide dangles a piece of chicken above the head of a large crocodile on the Tarcoles river in Tarcoles, Costa Rica. (Barcroft Media)


A tour guide shows a thumbs up as he sits on top of a crocodile on the Tarcoles river in Tarcoles, Costa Rica. (Barcroft Media)

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