They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Sometime in the early 1990s a 16 foot long crocodile lay severely injured on the bank of the Parismina River in Costa Rica in Central America. The crocodile had been shot by a farmer who was fed up with the beast snaffling his cows. Fortunately for the afflicted crocodile, a kind-hearted local fisherman named Chito decided to rescue the large reptile. Chito took the croc back to his home and nursed him back to health.
During the recovery process, Chito stayed by Pocho's side, even sleeping with him at night. 'I just wanted him to feel that someone loved him, that not all humans are bad', Chito says. 'I love all animals, especially ones that have suffered. It meant a lot of sacrifice. I had to be there every day'.
When Pocho had regained his health and vigour, Chito took him back along the river to release him but Pocho was having none of it! Cheekily he followed Chito home!
As their friendship developed over the years, Chito and Pocho became so intimate and at ease with each other that they would spend hours each day swimming and playing together in a large pond on Chito’s farm.
Surprisingly Pocho was placid and gentle with Chito and would even respond to his name when called. Chito encouraged Pocho to do tricks such as winking his one good eye, lifting his head and tail out of the water, rolling over and permitting Chito to stick his head inside Pocho’s jaw. Thousands of tourists, boffins and scientists flocked to see the two friends cavorting together. They were gobsmacked but delighted!
Sadly in 2011, Pocho died of natural causes at the age of approximately 60. Chito was distraught by Pocho's death but he continues to celebrate Pocho’s life.
This story can really help us to see God's good purposes for His creation. One day the lion will lie down with the lamb and we will swim happily with crocs!