HomeOutdoorsNews8-Year-Old Boy Attacked, Killed by Crocodile in Front of His Family

8-Year-Old Boy Attacked, Killed by Crocodile in Front of His Family

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP via Getty Images)

In this horrific event that happened on October 30th in Costa Rica, an 8-year-old boy was brutally attacked and killed by a crocodile. The incident occurred as the boy played near a river in his hometown of Limón.

The young boy, Julio Otero Fernández, died in an incredibly vicious way. Witnesses report that the boy was decapitated by the animal before being drug down to the depths of Matina River. The boy was never seen again.

However, as of last Saturday, a hunter reportedly shot and killed a local crocodile. Nearly a month after the child’s horrific death, they discovered strands of hair and bone inside the reptile’s stomach. Most believe these fragments to belong to Julio.

Pictures of the dead crocodile can be seen here.

The incident occurred during a fishing trip, where the young boy was accompanied by his parents, four siblings, and others on the trip.

At around 2 p.m. on Oct. 30, Julio was standing in knee-deep water in the river. That’s when the large crocodile lunged at him.

“It shook him (the child) and ripped off his little head,” an eyewitness described the horrible attack. “Then it grabbed him again and dragged him under.”

Julio’s parents, Don Julio Otero and Margini Fernández Flores, helplessly watched on with horror.

“The hardest thing for my wife was seeing the crocodile float away with my son’s body,” Otero said.

The dad said that the scaly predator resurfaced more than an hour later. Sadly, it was still holding his child’s body in its jaws. Police officers on the scene apparently refused to shoot the animal, saying they did not have the “authority” to shoot it. This is according to the Spanish-language news outlet La Nacion.

Authorities Refused to Shoot Crocodile Upon Arrival, Boy’s Father Says

“For my part, I feel abandoned by the authorities,” Otero said. “An animal is worth more than a human being, that’s what I’ve felt.”

The couple had moved their family to Costa Rica from their native Nicaragua four years ago for work.

The parents now plan to move back home with their four surviving kids, between the ages 3 and 16. They report that they’re leaving to keep their children safe from crocodiles. Crocodiles are protected animals in Costa Rica.

“I will not stay here because they protect these animals and they are capable of leaving the river to attack more people,” Flores, Julio’s mom, said.

It is unknown at this time who killed the crocodile over the weekend. However, the hunter fled the scene after shooting the reptile, which is a crime in the country.

Julio’s mother confirmed the discovery of hair and bones inside the dead crocodile’s carcass.

“The animal is dead. For me it is a great relief that they have killed it,” Flores said. “I wish they would kill them all so no family ever has to go through pain like this again.”

The human remains were then handed over to the local authorities for DNA testing to determine whether the remains belonged to Julio.