Crocodile Bites Off Man's Hand


Crocodile bites hand off of homeless man in Cancun | Fox News: "CANCUN, MEXICO –  Mexican authorities say a crocodile attacked a homeless man and bit off his right hand near a lagoon in the resort city of Cancun.

Cancun tourist police say in a Tuesday statement that Alejandro Lopez was wandering near an area of mangroves when he was attacked.

Police found the 27-year-old man lying on the shore of the Nichupte lagoon Monday and took him to a hospital."

Pictured above is an American crocodile, a species found in the Yucatan (among other places) and known to occasionally take people. It's possible, however, that the attacker in this case was a Morelet's crocodile. This species has not traditionally been regarded as a man-eater, but Croconut tells me they have attacked several people in recent years, including an intoxicated man who encountered several of them--fatally--at a lake near Tampico. 

12 comments:

  1. Timely post. My sister just up from Florida had a tense encounter with what she described as an "unusually light-colored alligator"--after some poking through my books, she identified it as a spectacled caiman. The animal was probably six feet, not normally in the size range that would threaten a human, but he snapped his jaws a number of times and cruised uncomfortably close to the dock where she was watching birds. Mary relocated when the caiman took up a post under the dock.

    The caiman's behavior doesn't sound exactly predatory, and spectacleds are not really large enough to see humans as prey but I wonder if the circling and jaw-snapping might have been the result of habituation and an attempt at soliciting food.

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  2. I hadn't realized there were spectacled caimans in Florida, but apparently they were introduced at least as early as the 1960s. I recently saw my first one in an aquarium (photos to come if I ever get organized).

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  3. Part of the "baby alligator" craze when gators first became rare, then protected; also probably escapes from hide farms, brought in when the gator numbers ran dangerously low.

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  4. Now that you mention the pet "alligators," I recall seeing some. My friend Chuck had a little caiman he called Gustave--after Mahler; this was long before Gustave the croc achieved fame.

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  5. So cute aren´t they?

    I recently bought a small crocodile myself. Not because I wanted to keep him as a pet (although I must say I quickly fell in love with the little thing) but rather as sort of a rescue mission. His owner was keeping him in a ridiculously small, dirty tank, and the place where I'm living right now is very cold, especially in winter. My plan was to buy him, then release him into the swamps near the coast. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a Morelet's croc (I had been led to believe it was an American croc) and they are not native to these regions.
    So now, and until I can travel to Yucatan or some other state in the East Coast, the little guy is being cared for in the same zoo where I worked. May not be as good as a swamp, but at least he's in a tropical climate now...

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  6. Oh, I forgot- some time ago my family and I were considering a trip to Cancun (sadly at the end we couldn´t afford it), and the hotel where we were supossed to stay was just beside the Nichupte lagoon mentioned in the article.
    I remember when I called the hotel to ask for prices and all that, I couldn´t resist asking if there were any crocodiles in the lagoon. The lady immediatly said there weren´t none- obviously they think tourists expect crocodile-free destinations...

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  7. That's a pretty cool adventure, I must say.

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  8. They should call it a "wildlife photo-safari" or something. I'll bet they'd get some business that way.

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    1. I know right! It frustrates me that the authorities don´t seem to see the potential of wildlife tours- they see crocodiles as an annoyance when they could easily be a huge tourist attraction, like Costa Rica's Río Tarcoles, with its HUGE American crocs.

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    2. Lots of successful crocodile tourism in Asia as well.

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    3. And Australia...

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  9. Again, maybe it all gets back to not being able to see the forest for the trees...I suspect few African natives, for example, "get" why crazy foreigners want to pay big bucks to see lions, leopards or hyenas in the wild--people in areas where crocs at least in theory pose a safety hazard are not apt to appreciate the ecotourism value. Then again, salties are huge tourist beacons Down Under, and Florida, of course, is famous for alligator-oriented tourism...

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