Bartolomeo Bove visited Banco Chinchorro in Mexico at the end of July 2020 to scuba dive among the American crocodiles. The biggest atoll reef in the northern hemisphere and a Biosphere Reserve, Banco Chinchorro is situated 22 miles (35 kilometres) off the southern coast of the Mexican State of Quintana Roo. During the lobster season, a small community of fishermen temporarily resides there.

The densest concentration of American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) in the world and the most genetically pure crocodiles of this species, Banco Chinchorro is also home to an estimated population of 500 of these reptiles.

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These crocodiles reside in a lagoon on the atoll’s main island and occasionally go into open water close to the fishermen’s stilt homes. The fisherman and the crocodiles share an alm The crocodiles are wonderful animals, and for me, it was a genuinely breathtaking experience to be in their company, up close and in their natural habitat. The simple explanation for why they don’t attack him and instead allow me to approach them undisturbedly and even touch them is that they would attack at any time if given the chance.


The centre island of the atoll is home to these crocodiles, who occasionally go into the open water close to the stilt houses. Despite the fact that most of these crocodiles are considerably larger than us humans, in some cases by a wide margin, they generally view an adult human as “too big” and thus less convenient prey than the animals they typically consume, which are much smaller in size, such as fish, birds, and crustaceans. Crocodiles do not, however, despise larger prey, and if given the chance, they will attack people as well.


The centre island of the atoll is home to these crocodiles, who occasionally go into the open water close to the stilt houses. Despite the fact that most of these crocodiles have poor vision, the “safest” method to approach these reptiles is immediately in front of them and at or below their level in the water column. Due to the fact that they often snap to the side rather than lunge forward and bite, they frequently attack straight in front of the target.


They are perceptive creatures that are always keeping an eye on you. Your moves in the water are always being watched by their eyes. Occasionally, even when assaulted from the front, they quietly but methodically move into position on your side, waiting for any opportunity to seize a brief window of diversion to evaluate the attack. If you swim with them, keep an eye on the crocodile at all times!

You can watch him dive with an Anaconda here.

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