On July 29 near Ro Caas, Guanacaste Province, in Costa Rica, professional athlete Jesus Alberto Lopez Ortiz, better known by his nickname “Chucho,” was trying to cool down in the river.
A crocodile dragged away the father of two, and horrifying photographs show him struggling for his life.
Locals claim they pursued the crocodile in a boat and shot it dead in the water before bringing Chucho’s body to the shore.
The deceased was a football player for Deportivo Rio Caas and left behind two young children, ages 3 and 8. The outpouring at the man’s funeral showed a large crowd in attendance and people lining the streets for his procession.
The soccer club he played for, Deportivo Rio Caas, said their goodbyes in a heartfelt Facebook post.
Authorities said he leaped from a bridge into the lake to cool down.
One of the victim’s friends yelled for aid, and neighborhood homeowner Marcos Chavarria remembered hearing him.
When Chavarria arrived to assist, he observed nothing except a cap and some bubbles in the water, he claimed, adding, “There was nothing else to do.”
A few minutes later, he saw that the crocodile’s jaws were tightened around his body.
Bystanders were asked not to share footage of the horrific scene online, by the footage went viral.
At her son Lopez Ortiz’s burial, Giselle Ortiz Cubill, his mother, expressed gratitude for the outpouring of love and financial and emotional assistance she received after his death.
Ortiz Cubillo urged the government to prevent a crocodile population explosion in the river to protect people, particularly vulnerable children.
However, according to a National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) official, no crocodile overpopulation was seen, and the creatures may even be economically beneficial to the local community-run crocodile-viewing boat tours.
Additional warning signs will remind people not to feed the crocodiles.