Girl survives encounter with crocodile in canal

An 11-year -old Bagaces girl is reported stable in San José after she tangled with a crocodile that was living in an irrigation canal at a rice plantation.

The security ministry identified the girl as Daniela Fallas Abarca. She was airlifted late Monday by the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea of the Fuerza Pública to Juan Santamaría airport.

Officials said that the girl’s parents work at the rice plantation and that due to the heat the girl approached the narrow waterway. One report said that she slipped and fell into the canal. The crocodile was described as being 3 meters long or as short as 1.5 meters. That would be between 10 and 5 feet. Considering that the girl survived, the smaller size is more likely.

She originally was treated in Liberia, which is where the Fuerza Pública aircraft picked her up. She is in the Hospital Nacional de Niños.

The girl was the first of seven patients to be transported to San José in less than 24 hours.

Four persons, including two minors came from Nicoya where they were victims of a traffic accident.

A 10-year-old girl also was airlifted from Palmar Sur where she also was an accident victim. The crash at Uvita killed her mother, who was identified by the last name of Cajina. The family of four was heading toward Quepos when the car went into a ditch and overturned, judicial investigators said.

The seventh case came from Upala, a 21-year-old accident victim. That flight arrived at 1:05 p.m., the security ministry said.

Crocodiles at times can be extremely aggressive. They are territorial, and university biologists have documented the travel of crocodiles on the high seas between river mouths where they usually are found. That means they could appear at any beach.

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