Soccer Player Killed in Crocodile Attack

A tragic incident unfolded in Costa Rica last week when a local soccer player was fatally attacked by a crocodile after jumping into a river known for its crocodile population. The victim, Jesus “Chucho” Lopez Ortiz, 29, was seen in a chilling video being carried away by the large reptile in the Cañas River.

Ortiz had leaped into the river from a bridge that had been closed to fishing due to the presence of crocodiles, according to Santa Cruz Police Sergeant Marcelino Hernandez. The horrifying event took place near Santa Cruz, a town in the province of Guanacaste, about 140 miles from the capital city, San Jose.

Ortiz was a player for Deportivo Río Cañas, an amateur soccer club based in Carrillo. The club confirmed Ortiz’s death in a heartfelt statement on Facebook, expressing their sorrow and extending condolences to his family.

The video of the incident shows the crocodile holding Ortiz’s lifeless body in its jaws while onlookers recorded the gruesome scene. Local authorities later shot and killed the crocodile to retrieve Ortiz’s remains, a spokesperson for the Costa Rican Red Cross confirmed.

In Costa Rica, crocodiles are protected species, and the country’s Ministry of Environment and Energy prohibits hunting or killing these animals. However, this incident has raised questions about the safety measures in place to protect people from these dangerous creatures.

Ortiz, remembered as a dedicated player, coach, and family man, is survived by his two children, aged 8 and 3. His death has left a deep void in the hearts of his loved ones and the local soccer community.

A funeral service for Ortiz was held last Thursday, drawing a large crowd of mourners who filled the streets to bid their final farewells. This incident follows a similar tragedy in October 2022, when an 8-year-old boy was killed by a crocodile in the Costa Rican city of Limón.