Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pocho, Costa Rica's most famous crocodile, dies

Costa Rica's only celebrity crocodile, Pocho has died, with his funeral attracting hundreds of mourners from his home town.

Pocho was the larger half of a double act with 54-year-old Gilberto Shedden who performed daring stunts with the 15 foot crocodile helping to put the Carribean town of Siquirres on the map.

For eight years Shedden dazzed tourists and locals with his shows for for eight years. The performer would pretend to wrestle with the huge reptile and even cuddle and kiss it.

Online videos of the pair went viral, making the fisherman and his 60 year-old reptilian friend international stars.

People lined the streets of the small pineapple and banana farming town to pay their respects to the funeral cortege of the 450 kilo animal, thought to be the first crocodile ever accorded the honour in Costa Rica.

Gilberto Shedden who was the animal's owner and co-star said said he would miss Pocho terribly.

"It was a relationship that only we could feel."

But Pocho will still be drawing visitors after his death, his cadaver is to be embalmed and put on display in a local museum.

Read the full story on the Daily Telegraph website here

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