Tamarindo crocs seem to be ticking time bombs

Crocodiles have been apex predators for at least 55 million years. Their bite is the strongest ever measured in an animal, and they are experts at ambushes. Scientist consider them to be very smart, and they can sprint faster than most humans. They also are pack hunters.

These facts seem to be lost on Tamarindo residents and visitors who seem to have treated the lizards in the local estuary as puppies. The lizards are being fed almost by hand as they lie in the shallow water at the banks of the water.

They also are considered part of the landscape by some who walk near them at the beaches.

The lack of concern shown by some residents and visitors has caused major concern by those who live in the Pacific beach community.

Jeff Ruzicka of Marlin Del Rey said he has heard reports that the crocs have dined on some local pet dogs and said he considers it just a matter of time before a human ends up on the menu.

Late last week one croc was seen crossing a local highway.

“Unknowing tourists walk right by these animals, swim in the estuary close to where they are seen in the photos, cross the estuary to get to Playa Grande or simply get close for a photo op.” he said, noting that a surfer was an attack victim a year ago.Residents have posted photos of the dangerous activity on a Facebook page.

Although a crocodile can be seen resting quietly near the beach, a lizard buddy might be eyeing humans out of sight beneath the water. That is basically how crocs hunt, by lunging from under the water to snag their prey, which is then dragged into the water to be drowned and then devoured. The bite is at least 10 times as strong as that of a Rottweiler.

Some of the Tamarindo crocs are estimated to be seven feet long. Salt water crocs can be at least double that size.

Tamarindo is not the only place where crocs mix with humans. Some of the creatures have been seen on the highways in Jacó. Crocs basking under the Costanera bridge north of Jacó are tourist attractions. Universidad de Costa Rica DNA studies show that male crocs travel in the sea from one river mouth to another in search of mates.

It's feeding time in Tamarindo, but what is on the menu?

It’s feeding time in Tamarindo, but what is on the menu?

 

Crocodiles have been apex predators for at least 55 million years. Their bite is the strongest ever measured in an animal, and they are experts at ambushes. Scientist consider them to be very smart, and they can sprint faster than most humans. They also are pack hunters.

These facts seem to be lost on Tamarindo residents and visitors who seem to have treated the lizards in the local estuary as puppies. The lizards are being fed almost by hand as they lie in the shallow water at the banks of the water.

They also are considered part of the landscape by some who walk near them at the beaches.

The lack of concern shown by some residents and visitors has caused major concern by those who live in the Pacific beach community.

Jeff Ruzicka of Marlin Del Rey said he has heard reports that the crocs have dined on some local pet dogs and said he considers it just a matter of time before a human ends up on the menu.

Late last week one croc was seen crossing a local highway.

“Unknowing tourists walk right by these animals, swim in the estuary close to where they are seen in the photos, cross the estuary to get to Playa Grande or simply get close for a photo op.” he said, noting that a surfer was an attack victim a year ago.Residents have posted photos of the dangerous activity on a Facebook page.

Although a crocodile can be seen resting quietly near the beach, a lizard buddy might be eyeing humans out of sight beneath the water. That is basically how crocs hunt, by lunging from under the water to snag their prey, which is then dragged into the water to be drowned and then devoured. The bite is at least 10 times as strong as that of a Rottweiler.

Some of the Tamarindo crocs are estimated to be seven feet long. Salt water crocs can be at least double that size.

Tamarindo is not the only place where crocs mix with humans. Some of the creatures have been seen on the highways in Jacó. Crocs basking under the Costanera bridge north of Jacó are tourist attractions. Universidad de Costa Rica DNA studies show that male crocs travel in the sea from one river mouth to another in search of mates.

At least one case of IRS identity fraud reported here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Federal officials are investigating at least one case of  attempted tax fraud involving a Costa Rican expat family. There are likely more victims here.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service said that someone filed a fraudulent 2015 tax return in the name of an American family living in Costa Rica and then sought a $7,000 tax refund.

This is not an uncommon crime, although overseas Americans are highly vulnerable because many do not file tax returns by the normal April 15 date.

The Internal Revenue Service allows taxpayers to open up electronic accounts and to make their tax filings online using a name and a Social Security number.

The agency is investigating a number of such crimes. Last week federal authorities arrested five out of 10 defendants who have been charged in identity theft cases related to an international money laundering scheme that laundered millions of dollars in fraudulently obtained federal income tax refunds.

According to the affidavits supporting the complaints, the Internal Revenue Service has identified approximately 7,000 fraudulent tax returns related to this scheme that sought about $38 million in refunds. The IRS issued about $14 million in refunds, and the money was deposited into and laundered through bank accounts used in this scheme. The fraudulent tax returns were filed and the bank accounts were opened with personal identifying information that had been stolen from thousands of victims, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California, based in Los Angeles.

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