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• August, 2006
In addition, you stated, "Actually, there are countless crocs in the lagoons of mainland Mexico, from Mazatlan at least at far as Acapulco." Au contraire. The latest scientific study of the Bay of Banderas area, which was done in '97 by the University of Guadalajara, counts between 13 and 27 adult crocs (meaning two meters or longer), 37-55 juveniles (meaning one to two meters), and 31-41 hatchlings (meaning under one meter). In March of '06, Senor Rafael Garcia de Quevedo, of the University of Guadalajara, told me that there are roughly 100-200 crocs in the entire area. In the '06 edition of Centro Universitarios de la Costa, it was estimated that there are 271 cros in the Banderas Bay area. In addition, there is only one known crocodile in an estuary of Mazatlan, this according to a newspaper in Mazatlan. There are no known crocs in the estuaries of Banderas Bay south of El Salado estuary near Marina Vallarta. The bottom line is that the American crocodile is protected in Mexico because it is threatened with extinction. You also stated that "they must not have big saltwater crocodiles at Radcliffe-on-Trent." Let your readers be assured neither are there any saltwater crocs anywhere in the Americas, much less in Mexico. The only crocodiles in Mexico are the American crocodile, the Moreleii crocodile, and the common caiman. Saltwater crocs live on the northern coast of Australia and islands to the north. You posit, "Maybe humans and crocs really do peacefully coexist in Mexico." You do your readers and sailors in Mexico a very dangerous disservice to suggest that this is the case. Yes, crocs do eat foolish dogs, but also foolish humans. It is impossible to spot a croc submerged six inches in murky water. Beware. The chief biologist at Ude Guate-Ixtapa, Rafael Garcia de Quevedo Machain had his forearm opened up by the sharp teeth of a year old 12-inch croc that he was holding. John W. Greer Sacramento John — We don't think the facts support your claims, so let's look at them one by one. We never wrote that "crocs aren't dangerous." We did report that we'd been told that crocs "don't eat humans" because they prefer the taste of cats and dogs. We said that while this sounded ridiculous, it might actually be true. And if the only croc attack on humans in Mexico you can cite is a young girl suffering a few cuts from a croc 13 years ago, that's not much of a refutation. After all, it's certainly not that crocs don't have plenty of chances to attack humans. For example, fishermen stand knee-deep in the water throwing their nets in Nuevo Vallarta lagoon, which is the well-known home of several very large crocs. And down in Zihua Bay, mothers and infants roll around on the beach within a few feet of the still-fresh tracks of an 8-foot croc, which often spends his afternoons less than 15 feet from patrons at the Paradise Restaurant. Up at San Blas, the Jungle Ride Tour advertises "swimming with wild crocs" because, as they say, "swimming with dolphins is too boring." And during a visit to Cocomex, a government-approved crocodile farm, the reporter wrote, "Francisco León, the production manager, opened the gate to the croc corral with the same caution he would have done should there have been rabbits in it." At La Tovara spring, it's reported there is a croc named Felipe who likes to unexpectedly emerge among swimmers, scaring the hell out of them, but never attacking. Another croc there allows swimmers to pet him. It's commonly believed that crocs in Mexico aren't hostile to humans because it's so easy for them to find plenty of food that is more to their liking.
The August 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.