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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The constant observation of crocodiles in national tourist sites aroused concern in the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (HCC) that sent a formal letter to the National Council for Conservation Areas (COGNAC) to take action, especially in the Pacific coast.

    They have warned tourists and hotel workers. The HCC does not classify the issue as normal and were concerned by the aggressiveness or the exposure that the animals are having in crowded places.

    “We understand that we are in the month of mating and that implies aggressiveness and greater exposure of these animals. However, with the experience of over 60 years of all the Chambers that have signed here, we can claim that what happened this year is not a normal situation and may be due to a large population of these reptiles in these areas as a mating issue, ” indicated Gustavo Araya, president of the HCC, in the letter.

    Among the measures that employers solicit, are: control, hunting, relocation or removal.

    “We request immediate attention to this situation in order to establish the necessary protocols for control, relocation, hunting or disposal (as applicable according to technical studies) of these animals in order not to cause serious injury to any other human being that may endanger their life, but also the economic stability of the thousands of families that depend on tourism in these coastal areas,” Araya added.

    In recent months crocodiles have been sighted in Tamarindo, Puntarenas and Manuel Antonio. Even two people died apparently devoured by these animals in the margins or Tempisque Tarcoles River.

    Juan Bolaños, a researcher of the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) said that last month about 35 crocodiles were hovering near the bridge over the Tarcoles River in Puntarenas. Apparently, recent scientific studies indicate that there is indeed an increase in the presence of these animals.

    New measures are coming

    Adrian Arce, an official of the Central Pacific Conservation Area (ACOPAC) confirmed that the first reports of a series of studies conducted in the past two weeks indicate a population increase of crocodiles. For that reason, he affirmed that there is a committee working on the respective mitigation measures.

    “This commission has already met with representatives of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and are evaluating several things. Including: labeling and an awareness campaign. We will discuss the topic completely, the situation will be evaluated and technically taking action, ” Arce said.

    The bridge over the Tarcoles River will be labeled with informative content to educate people about the species.

    “Yes there is an increase (in the presence of species), we are trying to do a responsible job where we support the scientific part. If we are going to have a population management, we´ll justify it well … Many people want to get them out, but you need to make informed decisions, knowing how to work out the issue,” outlined the expert.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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