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The Mexican

American crocodile

June's Pic of the Month, by Adam Summers from California, is a spectacular example of America's other crocodilian, the American Crocodile. Although found in relatively low densities on the southern tip of Florida, the American crocodile is present in several Central and South American countries. This individual hails from Mexico, as Adam explains.

"The American Crocodile is found on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Mexico. Where they come into contact with people, particularly tourists, they have been extirpated. A notable exception is in the small town of Zihuatanejo, in the state of Guerrero. This famous beach resort was the final destination of Tim Robbins' character in Shawshank Redemption, and is currently one of the few places I know that you can reliably get close to big crocodiles. There are three beaches in Zihua, the Southern-most has an inland lagoon that drains to the sea under the sand of the beach. The Hotel Pariso is a rustic guesthouse style hostel sitting on the northern edge of the lagoon. For years the hotel has used the wildlife as an attraction rather than something to be sanitized. No children are allowed at the resort because of the large numbers of good sized crocs. They do not feed the crocs, nevertheless these big animals are everywhere.

While we were there we saw everything from hatchling animals to a territorial adult that was around 5 meters long. This photo is of a small animal, perhaps three years old, sitting on the bank behind the massage room. I crawled up to it and set the camera on wide angle then slowly extended my arms, shooting all the while. This photo was taken when the camera was about 50cm from the croc. I backed away and the animal kept sunning itself."




Do you have a photograph which you'd like to become the Pic of the Month? Submit it and I'll select the best. The best photograph I receive each year will receive a prize - an Ilfochrome print - to be awarded in December.


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