Footballer eaten by crocodile during swim as beast seen with body in its jaws

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Jesus Alberto Lopez Ortiz died in the tragedy on Saturday in Rio Cañas, Costa Rica (Image: Jam Press Vid)
Jesus Alberto Lopez Ortiz died in the tragedy on Saturday in Rio Cañas, Costa Rica (Image: Jam Press Vid)

A family has been left devastated after a father was devoured by a crocodile after taking a dip in a river to cool down.

Jesus Alberto Lopez Ortiz, 29, was savagely killed by a reptile in the water in Rio Cañas, Costa Rica. Tributes have been paid to the young man, nicknamed "Chucho", since the tragedy on July 29. Shocking images, which we are choosing not to publish, show the large crocodile swimming through the water with the victim’s body in its jaws. Another clip shows the crocodile being shot dead in the water before locals carried the body to the riverbank.

Residents followed the reptile in a canoe so they could kill it before rescuing the victim’s body. Jesus, who leaves behind two children aged eight and three, was a footballer for the team Deportivo Río Cañas.

Footballer eaten by crocodile during swim as beast seen with body in its jaws eideziqkeiqhhinvThe reptile thrust Jesus Alberto Lopez Ortiz, a keen footballer, into its jaws (Jam Press)
Footballer eaten by crocodile during swim as beast seen with body in its jawsLocals in Costa Rica tried desperately to save the dad to two (Jam Press Vid)

On 31 July, Jesus' family members appealed to the public to help pay for the footballer’s funeral costs. His team manager Luis Carlos Montes is also organising a collection for the victim’s family. The Ministry of Environment and Energy prohibits the hunting or killing of protected animals such as crocodiles. It is unclear if they are looking into the decision to kill the crocodile so locals could collect the body.

A statement shared on the team's Facebook page said: "Good morning, people of Rio Cañas, neighbours, we hereby inform you that a simple number has been enabled to be able to help the family of Jesus Lopez 'Chucho' for what unfortunate has happened today, who wishes to collaborate please make your help at [number redacted] in the name of Luis Carlos Montes, also if your aid is physical, whether it is groceries or some other type of help, you can go leave it at the house of Don Daniel Serrano, Doña Tica will be receiving every help that comes out of her heart. Thank you so much in advance. God bless you."

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It comes after a pensioner in Australia was killed by two enormous crocodiles the first known case of two crocodiles eating a human. Andrew Heard vanished while fishing near Hinchinbrook Island, on the north-eastern coast of Queensland and his remains were later found inside two crocodiles. Two years later, the grim details of the fatal attack on the 69-year-old have been revealed following a coronial investigation into his death.

Lee Bullen

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