There is a reason why crocodiles have walked this earth for about 55 million years. They are fierce creatures who reside atop the food chain. They literally have no other animals to fear, except for human beings.
One bikini model, skydiver, wingsuit flyer, and BASE jumper, who has previously been named the ‘World’s Sexiest Female Athlete’ by Men’s Fitness magazine, is also probably one of the bravest individuals in the world. Roberta Mancino has previously swam with great white sharks, and just recently decided to attempt something even more daring. She decided to do a photoshoot with wild crocodiles.
Mancino had long desired to swim with these reptiles, and when she got that chance, she didn’t hesitate one bit. She first flew to Cancun, Mexico, and then drove for approximately 5 hours, prior to taking a 2 hour boat ride to end up in Banco Chinchorro, Mexico, home to almost 700 wild crocodiles. Once there, she spent hours on end swimming beside these fearsome creatures, getting comfortable with them while allowing them to do the same with her. It was then time for one of the most amazing photoshoots you will ever see.
“I have a list of animals which I would love to swim with, so it was one of my dreams to swim with crocodiles,” Mancino told Barcroft TV. “I have wanted to do this project for six years but I could never find someone to fund it because it is so dangerous. I was about to go there myself without a sponsor and then social network TSU said that they would fund the production. The other reason I couldn’t make it happen for a long time is logistics – it’s a really hard place to get to. You have to go to Cancun and then drive for five hours and then you have to take a boat for two hours. It’s in the middle of nowhere.”
While Banco Chinchorro is a destination known for allowing divers to swim with crocodiles, no one in the region, as far as we know, has ever attempted to get this close to these large reptiles which can grow to be between 2.5 meters and 4 meters in length. While getting this close to these potentially extremely dangerous creatures certainly isn’t something for everyone, Mancino wanted to prove something to the world.
“Obviously I don’t want everyone to start swimming with crocodiles but I wanted to show that they are not bad animals,” she explained. “I had to stay in the water for a long time to get an understanding of the animals – that is why you see me at first going down with a mask. Once I knew the animals were comfortable then I did the shots without the mask. Nobody really knew what would happen as no one has really done this before – spending that long, that close, next to a crocodile without a mask.”
She certainly proved one thing — if these animal understand that you are no threat to them, they can be quite accommodating for photoshoots.
[Image/Video Source: Barcroft Media / Eli Martinez]