On October 30th, Julio Otero Fernández was on a fishing trip with his family in Limón, Costa Rico when he was fatally attacked by a crocodile. According to New York Post, the eight-year-old was standing in knee-deep water when the large animal came from behind and lunged at him. After grabbing the boy by his head, and decapitating him, he took the remaining parts of his body and dragged them under.
“The hardest thing for my wife was seeing the crocodile float away with my son’s body,” recalled Don Julio Otero, the child’s father.
When authorities finally arrived, they refused to shoot the animal, who had re-emerged, with the child’s body still in its mouth. They claimed that they didn’t have the authority to open fire on the crocodile, due to it being a protected species. “For my part, I feel abandoned by the authorities,” Otero said. “An animal is worth more than a human being, that’s what I’ve felt.”
A month after the incident had taken place, locals took it upon themselves to hunt the child-killing beast down. Inside the bowels of the crocodile, they discovered humans remains, which have been given to authorities for DNA testing. SINAC, Costa Rica’s conservation group, filled criminal complaint charges for the death of the animal. Fortunately, the witnesses have conveniently “forgotten” who had killed it, and no arrests were made.
“The animal is dead,” Julio’s mother, Margini Fernández Flores, announced. “For me it is a great relief that they have killed it. I wish they would kill them all, so no family ever has to go through pain like this again.”
Despite their son’s killer meeting its end, Julio’s parents and four remaining siblings have decided to move back to their native country, Nicaragua, after living in Costa Rico for four years.
“I will not stay here, because they protect these animals and they are capable of leaving the river to attack more people,” Flores explained.