Beware of the Crocodiles at Iberostar
By mustang6560 on 9/6/13

On a recent golf trip to Cancun, Mexico, Edward Lunger was attacked by a crocodile at Iberostar Playa Paraiso Resort.
The 50-year-old engineer took a couple of practice swings and then chipped out of the bunker. He heard leaves rustle.

"All of a sudden, his arm went back, and his head went back," pal Mark Martin recalled. "I saw the crocodile leap up."

The angry female chomped down on Lunger's left arm up to his elbow, using its tail and claws to drag Lunger to the sand, the men said.
Edward may have lost a couple fingers in the attack, but he'll live to sue about it, thanks to his friend who threw a 40 pound boulder on the angry reptile.
The $2.25 million suit alleges that the firm — which charged Lunger $79 for the round — introduced crocodiles to the golf course "as a marketing tourist attraction and hence profit- enhancing lure."

Adding insult to the devastating injuries he faced, Lunger said Iberostar reps began pressuring him to sign papers absolving the resort of responsibility — and when that failed, it allegedly spread rumors that Lunger prompted the attack by teasing the croc with chicken.

"We came with nothing," Martin fumed. "We rented the clubs there. We [bought] the balls there. Where would we be getting chicken?"
I played with a guy at the World Am who said his friend, who lives in Florida, likes to chase alligators into the water on the golf course. His friend claims alligators are scared of humans and if you run up to them, they'll retreat into the water. This story reminds me why I'll never try to prove or disprove his theory.

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[ comments ]
jasonfish11 says:
Maybe the croc was trained and his practice swings were in the bunker and therefore illegal.

Sounds like he got off with a light penalty. Could have been a couple strokes.
Wes11point5 says:
Maybe his swing had a pronounced chicken wing?!?!
GolfSmith7 says:
Isn't this the course they just had Big break on? No gators on that show.
mauricio_hernandez says:
Yes that's te course of big break México, I really don't see the atracción of having a dangerous man eating wild animals running free on golf courses.
DougE says:
Which was it, a gator or croc? Not that it maters, they both will kill you. Just curious, because gators are everywhere from SC to Florida on golf courses and are a common site. I don't think I have ever seen a croc, but in Mexico, that may be different. And, from what I have seen of the alligators, they usually will jump back in to the water if you get near their vicinity. At least the smaller ones will. Haven't tried approaching a big boy, nor do I ever intend to.
jasonfish11 says:
Doug is right. Gators are very passive and will generally retreat (unless they have their den/young near by).

Cros are very aggressive and the only animal to stalk and hunt humans for food.
DougE says:
On another note, a guy who was playing with a good friend of mine who lives and plays at a private club close to Hilton Head, SC, had some sort of a heart attack or stroke while he was about to hit his ball from alongside a pond. He fell into the water and was splashing about before he just went limp. As the rest of the foursome were rushing to him, a large gator that was sunning himself on the knoll on the other side of the pond jumped into the water and started to slither over to where the guy went in. The rest of the guys got to him before the gator did and pulled him out. Tragically, the guy died before he made it to the hospital, but at least the gator didn't kill him. Either way, it sucks though.
falcon50driver says:
I hit an alligator while waterskiing in a bayou. Saw it too late to turn, I hit it pretty hard and then fell. I don't think Mark Spitz with all his Olympic medals could have beaten me back to the boat that day.
rodrigovaldes says:
The “Caesar Park Hotel” opened 19 or 20 years ago. It became the Hilton after some time, and a couple of years ago Iberostar took the property.

I’ve lived in Cancun for a long time and I know that there were crocodiles before, during and after they built the hotel, so I can’t buy the idea of the firm introducing crocodiles to the property as a tourist attraction. I’ve played that course and I’ve seen crocodiles many times. I’ve seen warning signs and taped areas informing of dangerous nesting areas. I’ve also seen tourists messing with the crocodiles, feeding them, or even pulling them by the tail, or just getting to close to get a picture. Any player can feed them, since there are food and beverages carts circling the course all day long, so any player can buy food there.

I wasn’t there and I don’t know what led to Mr. Lunger being attacked, but I don’t find logic and it doesn’t make sense to me. That’s just my personal opinion as a local player, without knowledge of what happened that day.
sjduffers says:
I just came back from a week in Cancun and I did play that course.

It is not the site of the last Big Break (that would be Iberostar Playa Paradiso, further South, near Playa Carmen...).

There are indeed crocodiles (not alligators) on this course and plenty of signs warning the golfers to leave them alone and leave your ball too if it comes too close. I have one picture of a croc by one of these signs, which I may post up later...

Btw, When I asked jokingly about what happened in this incident to one of the carts attendants, he mentioned something about some alcohol being involved, which this being Cancun I am not surprised one bit. Rodrigo is right too that since this is an all-inclusive golf course (all you can eat and drink is provided on the roaming beverage cart and in the clubhouse), those players could have easily provoked the croc and tried to feed him too, besides his fingers, I mean.
sjduffers says:
Clarification: The course where this happened (and which I played) is the Iberostar Cancun Golf Club, not the Iberostar Playa Paraiso Resort, as implied in the article.
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