Make it snappy! Tourists flee in terror as crocodile walks onto beach in Colombia
- Beach-goers run away screaming from huge crocodile in Santa Marta, Colombia
- Group of men looking the other way almost run straight into the huge reptile
- Crocodile strolls down to the shoreline and stops as onlookers watch it
Beach-goers were forced to run away in shock after a huge crocodile stormed onto a beach and strolled down to the shoreline.
The clip of shows a large American crocodile walking onto the beach in the Tayrona National Natural Park in Santa Marta, northern Colombia.
A group of young men, who are looking the other way, are seen almost walking straight into the huge reptile and end up running off in panic.
Screams and shouts can be heard as beach-goers swarm to the opposite end of the beach to escape the scaly animal.
The clip of shows a large American crocodile walking onto the beach in the Tayrona National Natural Park in Santa Marta, northern Colombia
The crocodile strolls its way down to the water where it stops as onlookers watch it in shock.
National park officials reminded beach-goers the park was set up to protect wildlife as well as for people to enjoy and the presence of the crocodile was actually a positive sign.
However, rangers later evacuated the beach – as much to save the crocodile from being bothered by curious onlookers filming it with their smartphones as to protect people from the dangerous reptile.
National park director Luz Elvira Angarita said it was not unusual to see crocodiles in the area and it was a good sign for the wildlife diversity of the park.
A group of young men, who are looking the other way, are seen almost walking straight into the huge reptile and end up running off in panic
He said: ‘It’s important to remember these habitats are not just for people to enjoy, but also for the protection of wildlife species.’
The American crocodile, also known in Colombia as the Caiman Aguja, can reach lengths of 6.1 metres (20 ft) and weigh up to 907 kilogrammes (2,000 lb).
They are potentially dangerous to humans but tend not to be as aggressive as some other species.
Experts advise people to remain at least 20 metres (66 ft) away from them, not to provoke them and not to swim in areas where they have been seen.
Around 15 live in the national park and they can be also found from South Florida and the coasts of Mexico to as far south as Peru and Venezuela but hunting, pollution and the loss of natural habits are taking their toll on numbers.
The crocodile strolls its way down to the water where it stops as onlookers watch on in shock