A Costa Rican soccer player was killed when he jumped into a crocodile-infested river and was devoured while horrified bystanders gazed on.
The frightening footage shows the creature swimming through the water last week with the lifeless body of Jesus “Chucho” Lopez Ortiz clenched inside its jaws.
Ortiz, 29, had jumped into the Cañas River from a bridge that was closed for fishing because of the presence of crocodiles in the water, said Santa Cruz Police Sergeant Marcelino Hernandez, according to Costa Rican newspaper The Tico Times.
The disturbing incident happened near the town of Santa Cruz in the province of Guanacaste, approximately 140 miles from Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose.
Ortiz was a member of Deportivo Río Cañas, an amateur football team located in Carrillo, who confirmed the death in a statement on Facebook.
“With deep sorrow, we make public the death of our player Jesus Lopez Ortiz (Chucho) may God enjoy. Rest in Peace Chucho, we join the pain of all your family,” the team said.
Local authorities later shot and killed the crocodile to recover Ortiz’s remains, a Costa Rican Red Cross spokesperson said.
Ortiz leaves behind two children, ages 8 and 3, as he was remembered as a family man, coach and player.
A funeral was held for Ortiz on Thursday, August 3 which was attended by “thousands of people” who flooded the streets to say “goodbye to Chucho,” the team said.
Watch the video below.
VideoViral | Jesús Alberto López Ortiz, futbolista del Deportivo Río Cañas de la Liga Ascenso de Costa Rica conocido futbolísticamente como Chucho, murió tras ser atacado por un cocodrilo en Santa Cruz, en el noroeste de Costa Rica. pic.twitter.com/WVFqCxsJEY
— lavozderiobamba (@lavozderiobamba) August 4, 2023