There were all sorts of vehicles pulled over to both sides of the road at either end of the bridge. The bridge allowed the crossing of traffic over the languid Tarcoles River in Costa Rica. We pulled over and jumped out of the SUV, and jogged to the bridge to discover the source of excitement.
When we peered over the edge we saw a ferocious specimen of the salt water crocodile! We had been looking forward to seeing a crocodile and had gotten a creepy feeling when we had stood in or near water since we had arrived. The “No Baño” signs with a picture of dangling legs and jaws of destruction only intensified the imaginings.
As we continued to peer over the edge we could count at least a dozen of the beasts ranging in size from a small kayak to a car. We then noticed on the opposite bank a horse begin to approach the edge of the water. Perhaps we would now see some real action!
The horse nonchalantly walked to the river’s edge and began to drink. The crocodiles continued to lounge in the water. Why was everything so calm when there was a perfect opportunity for a meal for the deadly beasts?
“Chicken,” said a park ranger near by, as if reading our minds.
“They eat too much chicken,” he said gesturing at the crocs.
“Where do they get that from?”
“Up river, at the chicken farm. They get fed fat fresh chicken every day. They don’t need to eat fish, even, they’re so full of chicken meat!” He wandered off, chuckling.
We thought of our hens back home, bred for laying eggs. We knew that they were better off than the industrial battery hens that produce most of the eggs in the US. But these Costa Rican chickens? Food for crocs! How low on the food chain could they get? The chicken, it seemed, down here, was so plentiful it could grace both human and crocodile dinner table without breaking a sweat.
Who would have thought it would come to this!
This post was submitted by Erika Lunceford.