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Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

PEACEAnimals September Newsletter: Checking Out the Crocodiles at Boca Negra

Gretchen DeWitt - PEACEAnimals
September 24, 2017

CROCODILES! Very recently, a large crocodile was caught in the marina, transported to the Ameca River and released there. A year or two ago, a chocolate Lab wearing a red collar had jumped into the water after a ball at the marina and was taken under by a crocodile. Horrified onlookers watched and filmed the crocodile as it swam leisurely between yachts and sailboats for two hours with the dog in its jaws. A few weeks ago, a fisherman up to his ankles in the Ameca River was grabbed by a crocodile and drowned. His body showed marks of having been bitten by a crocodile. Crocodiles are protected here, and as a result, have no fear of humans.

At Boca Negra Beach close to the airport, there is a large lagoon filled with crocodiles. All one had to do to see them in the past was go to the tree-lined edge of the lagoon and move a tree branch back and forth in the water for a couple of minutes. This would signal that a bird, dog, raccoon or other small mammal could be in the water. Across the lagoon and at first looking like a log or a large piece of driftwood, one would almost immediately see a crocodile approaching. And then a couple more would glide silently to the place where the water was being disturbed. This was the time to return to the beach.

Boca Negra is a very long, often windswept beach, marked by black rocks reaching out in the water in the middle of it. During turtle egg-laying season, there is usually a camp set up for a turtle study group from the University of Guadalajara.

Last week I took our dogs for an afternoon walk at Boca Negra. Due to continued rains, the edge of the lagoon has moved further up on the sandy beach. There is now a fence in place in front of the narrow dirt path to the lagoon and next to the old warning signs. There is no fence in front the beach where the lagoon has extended. As the dogs approached the edge of the new perimeter of the lagoon, I shouted anxiously at them to come back.

It´s a very short distance now across the sand from the lagoon to the edge of the bay, and as the water isn´t clear at Boca Negra, I choose not to swim. Crocodiles have glands in their tongues that alligators don´t have. These special glands excrete excess salt from their bodies, which means they can spend up to several weeks in sea water.

Read the rest of the PEACEAnimals September Newsletter

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