This incredible true story is about a fisherman that saved a crocodile and formed a 22-year friendship.

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It’s easy to see why this incredible story became viral. It is a wonderful example of the closeness humans have with nature.

The friendship was formed in 1989, on the banks the Reventazon Paraismina River in Siquirres (Costa Rica).

Gilberto “Chito”, a local fisherman, saved a dying crocodile. Chito took care of the croc and then released him back into the wild.

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He didn’t know that the crocodile would be found on his veranda next morning. This marked the beginning of a 22-year-long friendship.

Chito said, “Once the Crocodile followed my home and came to me whenever it called its name, I knew it was capable of being trained.”

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The crocodile was later named Pocho after he had been shot in the left eye by a cattle farmer, fearing that he would prey upon his cattle.

Chito told The Tico Times that he wanted Chito to know that someone cared about him and that not all people are evil.

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Chito ensured Pocho was properly fed while he was in recovery. Chito gave Pocho kisses and chatted with him while he slept.

“Food wasn’t enough. Chito explained that the crocodile had to have my love in order to regain its will to live.

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Contrary to his cold-blooded biology Pocho showed affection and ran at Chito with his mouth wide when he entered water. He would then spit his mouth so that he could kiss his snout!

Chito was afraid that authorities would seize his reptilian friend so he hidden Pocho in a secret place in the forest.

Someone eventually spotted Chito taking a dip with the crocodile, and reported it.

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Costa Rica’s Channel 7 filmed the couple in 2000, which helped them rise to fame in Chile, The United States and even The United Kingdom.

The Environment and Telecommunications Ministry allowed the celeb couple to live together for as long as Pocho could be monitored. Pocho was then fed 30KG of chicken and fish by a veterinarian and a biologist on a weekly basis.

In the next ten years, the pair would perform a weekly act every Sunday at Siquirres, their hometown. They would also show off their friendship by swimming for tourists.

Adam C. Smith Photography

South African Roger Horrocks directed a documentary called “The Man Who Swims with Crocodiles” to show their unique relationship.

According to the filmmaker, Pocho may have suffered brain damage from the gunshot. This could explain why the reptile was able to feel human emotions following his rescue by Chito.

Pocho, who died of natural causes on October 12, 2011, was the end to every good story. His estimated age was 60. Chito performed a public funeral in human style for the crocodile. His taxidermied remains and hand are on display at Siquirres’ town museum.

Chito celebrated the 10th anniversary of his death this year by training a new crocodile named Pocho II. He encountered Pocho II at his riverside home a lot, but it is not clear how their friendship will turn out. His encounter with Pocho was truly special for him.


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