Esteban Picado is a tour guide at the business La Ceiba Ecoadventures. This past week Esteban came in contact with nature in a way that he wasn’t expecting when he jumped into a river to save an anteater who had fallen in and was fighting for its life against the current of a nearby waterfall.

The event occured this past Sunday on the private reserve Plantanillo de Baru located in Perez Zeledon. The area was previously used as land for cattle, but it’s since been converted to huge refuge for Costa Rican flora and fauna.

While he was guiding a group of tourists to the waterfall La Raiz, Picado noticed the anteater struggling in the nearby water. The reserve is home to a large variety of animals including the lesser anteater, also called the tamandua.

The animal eventually seemed to stop struggling and just float. The spectators thought it had drowned for sure but Picado still had faith. He jumped down into the dangerous current to try to rescue the weakened tamandua.

Once he had pulled it to the shore Picado noticed the animal seemed unconscious. He began giving an improvised form of chest compressions until it gasped and began breathing again.

Picado said that it was instinct to risk his own life in order to save another, something he didn’t even have to think about.

The experienced tour guide believes that more people should embrace the relationship we have with nature and that by doing so both parties can grow stronger together.  He considers himself a conservationist and points out that everyone should be more conscientious when it comes to taking care of our planet, afterall it’s the only one we’ve got.