American Tourist Loses Fingers in Crocodile Attack

An American tourist playing a game of golf with some friends had his round abruptly curtailed when a crocodile bit off two of his fingers.  The fifty-year-old golf enthusiast apparently pretended to feed the predator, perhaps showing off to his mates, however, the crocodile snapped and as a result the poor chap is going to have to re-model his golf swing.


The incident happened on a golf course in the Mexican resort of Cancun (Yucatan peninsula).  Over the last few years, officials at the resort had become increasingly concerned about the large numbers of crocodiles that had been seen around areas frequented by tourists.  Locals are aware of the potential dangers, avoiding crocodiles, but tourists, perhaps keen to get a photograph of these large carnivores may venture too close.

The Difference Between a Crocodile and an Alligator

Crocodile and Alligator comparison.

Crocodile (top) and Alligator (bottom).

There have been a number of incidents reported, one of the most serious occurred when a homeless man was attacked by a crocodile (believed to be a Morelet’s crocodile) on the shores of Nichupte lagoon.  The victim lost his right hand in the attack.  Police spokespersons stated at the time that there were plenty of warning signs posted indicating the presence of these reptiles and they urged people to take great care and to avoid parts of the coast where the crocodile population density was highest.

In a Stable Condition

In a statement made by Civil Protection officer Felix Diaz Villalobos, it was revealed that the golfer was in a stable condition in hospital and medics had recovered one of the severed fingers in the hope of being able to reattach it.

The officer added, that the victim was attacked after he ignored signs warning about the presence of crocodiles.

He stated:

“These animals are generally very peaceful.”

There have been calls recently to re-instate hunting of Morelet’s crocodile (Crocodylus moreletti), also known as the Mexican crocodile as populations have risen since a ban on hunting was imposed.  The area of Cancun is also home to a significant number of American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus), a crocodile very much at home in salt water and an animal capable of growing to more than four metres in length.

These crocodiles can be found as far north as Florida, in Central America and as far south as Peru and Venezuela.  They are distinguished from other large crocodile species by having a pronounced “V” shape to their snouts.  The jaws are narrower than other large Crocodilians.  However, those jaws are still very dangerous and although their diet consists largely of fish, these reptiles will attack and are man-eaters.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur said:

“It is important that people keep vigilant and take heed of any warning notices, even a relatively small crocodile is capable of inflicting serious injury.”