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Thursday, July 24 2014 @ 10:45 AM EDT

Crocodile Attacks and Kills Fisherman in Panama Canal

Animals & Pets By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com Panama City, Panama: Apparently one of the large crocodiles that live in the waters of the Panama Canal have taken another victim. A crocodile reported to be "at least ten feet long" by witnesses attacked and apparently killed 38 year-old Fermín Perez at 2:00 pm this afternoon while he was fishing for tilapia with two friends along the shores of the Panama Canal. 60 year-old Pedro Rodríguez Gonzáles and 28 year-old Joel Ibarra Salazar survived the attack and were able to escape, but there was no sign of Perez. The crocodile leapt out of the water, grabbed onto Perez and pulled him under the water before his companions could react. The entire incident was over in a matter of seconds. According to a press release, units from Panama's National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC), the Canal Protection Division of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), and the Police Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation (DIIP) of the National Police participated in the search for Perez. Both cayman and crocodiles live in the waters of the Panama Canal. Cayman grow as large as twelve to fifteen feet, and crocodiles are bigger and can get as large as eighteen feet and weigh as much as a ton.

The Third Attack in Three Years: This is at least the third fatal crocodile attack in Panama in the past three years. A tour guide working for the Gamboa Rain-forest Resort dove into Gatun lake to retrieve a set of keys that had fallen off of the boat and could be seen on the bottom of the lake in eight feet of clear water. He was apparently attacked and killed by a crocodile and no trace of him was ever found. Another attack similar to today's occurred close to the ACP boat dock. Two men were near the side of Gatun lake retrieving buckets of minnows to use as bait for fishing when a large crocodile came out of the lake and dragged one of the two men underwater. Again, no trace of the victim was ever found. In this case, searchers responded to the scene and searched for Perez but found nothing.

Location Of The Attack: The press release said Perez and his companions were fishing in Miraflores lake, the lake that separates the Miraflores locks from the Pedro Miguel locks of the Panama Canal, but the attack actually occurred near the "swing bridge" south of the Miraflores locks which is actually not Miraflores lake. If you've been to the observation deck at the Miraflores Locks, you can easily see this area when looking south toward the Pacific Ocean. This is the area where water from the Panama Canal is dumped into the Pacific Ocean every time a ship passes and the water in the area is tidal and brackish. In fact, the fishermen were about to leave for the day due to the rising tide. A SINAPROC rescue specialist said the search for Perez would have to be called off for today due to bad weather, the rising tide (which was expected to reach 17' this evening), and nightfall. In these kinds of attacks it's common for the crocodile to take its victim and hide the body underwater.

Copyright 2007 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. As usual feel free to use whatever you want as long as you credit the original source. Salud.

SINAPROC registra una persona desaparecida en el Lago de Miraflores

Panamá, 17 de mayo de 2007. – El Sistema Nacional de Protección Civil (SINAPROC), informa a todos los medios de comunicación y a la ciudadanía en general, que se mantiene desaparecido en el lago de Miraflores, provincia de Panamá, el señor Fermín Pérez de 38 años de edad.

El señor Pérez, se mantenía realizando labores de pesca con trasmallo en el lago de Miraflores. Según versiones de sus compañeros de pesca (Pedro Rodríguez Gonzáles de 60 años y Joel Ibarra Salazar de 28 años de edad), relataron que los tres (3) se mantenían pescando dentro de la desembocadura con un trasmallo, a eso de las 2:00 de la tarde de hoy jueves, hora en donde un lagarto de más de 10 pies de largo los golpeó, sumergiendo al señor Pérez, sin que hasta el momento se halla encontrado rastro alguno del infortunado.

Unidades de la División de Protección al Canal, SINAPROC y de la Dirección de Información e Investigación Policial (DIIP), participaron de la búsqueda.

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