A Scuba Diver Comes Face To Face With A Crocodile

Animals & Nature Nov 04, 2023

Banco Chinchorro, one of the best coral reefs in Mexico, is home to many different animals, including crocodiles. These apex predators are often feared and avoided, but one man, Bartolomeo Bove, is not afraid to swim with them.

In July 2020, Bove traveled to Banco Chinchorro to scuba dive with American crocodiles. This remote atoll reef is located 35 kilometers off the coast of Quintana Roo and is home to the world’s largest population of American crocodiles, estimated at over 500 individuals.

Bove believes that the crocodiles’ genetic purity is due to their isolation from other crocodile populations. He found them in a bay on the atoll’s main island, where they sometimes swim next to fishermen’s stilt homes. The fishermen and crocodiles have a harmonious relationship, with the crocodiles eating the leftover fish parts that the fishermen discard.

Bove approaches the crocodiles safely, standing directly in front of them or on the same level. He believes that this shows the crocodiles that he is not a threat. In an interview with us, Bove described the experience of swimming with crocodiles as “breathtaking.” However, he also warned that it is important to never take your eyes off of a crocodile if you ever swim with them.

Bove’s experience swimming with crocodiles is a reminder that these apex predators are not always to be feared. With respect and caution, it is possible to coexist with these amazing creatures.

You can watch him diving with an Anaconda here.

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