April 6, 2024
Today´s Paper

Brave or foolish? Swimming in a Cenote with a crocodile!

A TikTok video went viral, in it you can see a crocodile swimming near some tourists in a cenote in Tulum and, although the song causes a tense atmosphere, the animal is called Panchito and is a known inhabitant of the Cenote Manatí or Casa Cenote.

After the video went viral, users commented that seeing the crocodile caused them anxiety, while others even believed it was “vegetarian”. However, the animal’s passivity, it is said, is due to the fact that this species is considered harmless; moreover, it is said that it is accustomed to human company.

We tell you all about Panchito and why swimming with him is a tourist experience that makes visitors aware of the animals and the invasion of their territory.

Who is Panchito?

Brave or foolish? Swimming in a Cenote with a crocodile!

In the video shared by youtuber and tiktokero Sebitas Trip, Panchito can be seen swimming among the tourists without attacking them. In fact, the crocodile arrived in the waters of Cenote Manatí five years ago in search of fish, since then it has become common to see it in this place.

Panchito is a swamp crocodile that is characterized by being very territorial. Their diet is based on small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, so humans are not seen as food.

Patricia de la Torre Ortiz, councilor of the Ecology Commission, indicated that the crocodile is in its natural habitat, so there is no need for the authorities to act.

Respecting Panchito is a condition

Brave or foolish? Swimming in a Cenote with a crocodile!

In order to dive, swim or snorkel in Cenote Manatee you must respect Panchito, keeping your distance and not trying to touch him, because, although he is harmless and has lived with people since he was a child, he is still an animal in his habitat.

Cenote Manatí, Panchito’s home

Brave or foolish? Swimming in a Cenote with a crocodile!

In the municipality of Tulum, you will find the Manatí cenote, one of the many cenotes that feed the enormous network of waters in the peninsula, but it is also home to the famous Moreletti crocodile, which has been baptized as “Pachito”.

According to residents, Pachito has lived in the cenote since birth. Due to the species to which it belongs, it will not grow more than one meter long, which allows it to sneak into the caverns of the cenote, where many tourists come to dive.

Pachito has become so famous that travel influencers, such as Sebitastrip, have visited this cenote to swim in the company of the friendly crocodile and have even managed to capture the crocodile swimming among the tourists.

Brave or foolish? Swimming in a Cenote with a crocodile!

As well as the influencer, many tourists come to check the sighting of the reptile and who has also been encouraged to swim with him.

To date, no attacks by “Panchito” on those who come to swim at his home have been reported, however, this does not exempt that there could be a risk, therefore, visitors are always reminded to take precautions and swim at their own risk.

Cenote Manatí: Home of crocodiles

Brave or foolish? Swimming in a Cenote with a crocodile!

Due to the geographical position of this cenote, its caverns are connected to the sea, which is about 50 meters away. This makes the cenote an ecosystem suitable for both saltwater and freshwater species, making it an attractive site for species such as crocodiles.

If you want to visit the Manatí cenote you will need a car due to the long distances to be covered, two hours from Cancun and one hour from Playa del Carmen. To access this area, you need to enter from Federal Highway 307 at the entrance of Casa Cenote.


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