Photographer Narrowly Avoids the Jaws of a Hungry Crocodile

Here’s a pro tip: if you ever find yourself with a strong desire to photograph crocodiles in their natural habitat, don’t do it like the photographer in the video above (warning: it contains a bit of strong language).

It was shot by a man named David Clow on March 18, 2013 in Rio Tarcoles, Costa Rica. Clow’s friend Antonio Ruiz was photographing crocodiles up close with his DSLR while others tossed chunks of meat into the water. The problem was, Ruiz positioned himself right on the edge of the river rather than at the relatively safe distance everyone else was standing at.


The location is named “Crocodile Bridge,” so the water was teeming with crocs. After snapping some photographs of the creatures battling over the free food, Ruiz had an experience he will probably never forget. He just narrowly avoided a lunge by a hungry crocodile, coming inches from becoming its next meal.

Clow writes that Ruiz is simply a daredevil photographer — not a dumb one:

It is called living on the edge, not being dumb. It is called guts, not stupidity. Not everyone can afford a huge lens, eh. My friend, Antonio, may have a death wish, and he may be a little crazy, but he is not stupid. He is a hard dude. I wanted to be down there. Like he says in the video, everyone made it worse yelling. He knows how to behave around them. Try not to be too mean, people. Everyone has a heart, and the most fragile ones, the ones on the edge, are easily broken.

Thankfully, it’s a story with a happy ending. Ruiz escaped with close-up photos and a crazy experience, and Clow walked away with a video that’s now going viral across the web.

Update: Here’s an online photo album with photographs of the crocodiles.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Malcolm!

  • ScottnLaguna

    Only after watching twice did I notice the second crocodile that almost got
    An-toooonio. The video shows it backsliding. The video guy got the best shots that day.

  • Norshan Nusi

    Just like Malay ” Air Tenang Jangan Disangka Tiada Buaya” which transtated “Never thought that there is no crocodiles in calm waters”. Means don’t expect things that looks safe are the way it is.

    In the video itself, we can see crocodiles keep popping out, waiting for him to be distracted and try to attack him from a blind spot.

    Scary indeed.

  • Duke Shin

    I don’t think that’s what Robert Capa had in mind by “you’re not close enough”

  • Jeff Teeselink

    That one is just wondering if humans taste like chicken.

  • Bob

    The simple fact that his friend tries to justify this behaviour makes it suspect. Absolutely no respect for the fauna and environment, he should consider himself lucky not to have won a Darwin award

  • Confuscan

    The only saving grace in all of this is that had he been killed by the crocodile, in all likelihood, the crocodile would not have been hunted down and killed itself (my guess, given the circumstances), unlike other situations with wild animals and humans. Everyone else get’s a case study in what not to do and the crocodile gets fed.

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  • Richard Ford

    Little baby fresh water crocs. Good thing this wasn’t northern Australia and a real salty!

  • Richard Ford

    How do you know that he has no children so far? Can’t nominate if he does dumbo.

  • Pablo Vernier

    Ese Antonio es un Loquillo

  • Tim

    He is basically just an extension of the bait they’re throwing in. She isn’t much brighter either, sitting on the edge like that in light of what’s just happened.

  • Mansgame

    Does rooting for the crocks make me a bad person?

  • Adam

    You’re ugly

  • Sync

    Oh.. wait…

    “He’s not stupid…he knows how to behave around them” and “living on the edge, not being dumb”.

    Did he just scoot AWAY from the edge? Wait… I live in a house and i still stay IN a house.
    Hmm… I’m sure able to behave and keep the door locked when no one’s home.. Oh wait… That’s wrong too?

  • Matthew Everett

    For the record, he was being very stupid (by my standard), but I fully support his right to be eaten by a crocodile. Honestly, the dumbest part of all of this (based on the linked album) is that he didn’t even get any shots worth the trip to the bridge.

  • Rocket Scientist? Nope.

    Well, there is also his stupid “friend” who posted the video. Why post video that required an extensive commentary explaining just how stupid your friend isn’t? Hmmm, this is stupid x 2

  • Miles

    I learnt recently that bears in North America go through a ‘trial’ if they hurt or kill people. If the panel of experts finds that the bear was acting naturally then they are not hunted and are allowed to go on unmolested. The example in the article I read was a Japanese tourist who went quite close to a bear cub, photographing it, and in the process got between the cub and its mother, who killed him. The panel found that the bear was only acting naturally and there were no consequences for the bear. I don’t know if this is a unique arrangement or if there are others like it.

  • Jeb

    To think the photography world almost lost another 24-70 to user stupidity….

  • merkova

    It is called STUPIDITY if you turn your head away from the croc while being this close to it!

  • Adam Cross

    this kind of behaviour sickens me, can we all just leave animals alone? that would awesome.