Not many people would dare to get up close and personal with a creature that could easily snap you in half and devour you within seconds. But Chito, known as ‘The Real Crocodile Dundee’, has a highly unusual friendship with a croc he named Pocho after finding him with a gunshot wound on Costa Rica’s Parismina River 20 years ago.
52-year-old Chito considers this 15-foot crocodile his best friend, and they playfully wrestle in the water. But nobody else can get this close — Chito earned Pocho’s trust after bringing the giant crocodile, shot in the left eye by a cattle farmer, into his home and nursing it back to health.
"I stayed by Pocho's side while he was ill, sleeping next to him at night. I just wanted him to feel that somebody loved him, that not all humans are bad,” Chito said.
"It meant a lot of sacrifice. I had to be there every day. I love all animals — especially ones that have suffered."
Now, Chito and Pocho put on shows for tourists, but Chito doesn’t take much money for them.
"He's my friend, I don't want to treat him like a slave or exploit him. I am happy because I rescued him, and he is happy with me because he has everything he needs."