A crocodile lunged out of the water at a terrified German tourist on the Tempisque River in Costa Rica with its jaws open to expose its razor-sharp teeth.
By Murray Wardrop
The Daily Telegraph
With her camera in hand, the unnamed holidaymaker was poised to capture a close encounter with the reptile during a boat trip in the Central American country.
However, when a tour guide banged a stick against the side of the boat to attract the crocodile, the creature leapt out of the water just inches from the woman's face.
While the woman was left in shock by the near death experience, a tourist on another boat managed to capture the crocodile's menacing profile.
Paul Stodolny, 29, got his camera out when he spotted the lazy-looking crocodile drifting in the water and continued taking photos as it jumped out of the water
Mr Stodolny, from Toronto, Canada, said: "I couldn't believe it even happened, let alone that I caught it on camera.
"The tour guide of that boat was luring the crocodile closer by tapping a stick in the water.
"It started to get really close and as the tour guide pulled the stick out of the water, the crocodile followed it.
"Before we knew it, this croc just leapt out of the water and seemed to lunge at this poor woman – I think her face says it all.
"Everyone on the boat gasped and bolted backwards – it was much too close for comfort.
"After the croc had shown them who was boss, it disappeared back into the water as the woman tried to catch her breath."
Mr Stodolny, who works for an animation studio, said it was not until later that he realized how lucky the woman was to escape uninjured.
He said: "It all happened so quickly, it was only when I got a chance to look at my photos that I saw how close it actually got.
"We didn't know the woman before this, but we actually bumped into her at a restaurant later on in the trip and showed her the photo.
"She said she'd never experienced anything so scary in her life. All she could see was teeth coming at her.
"I was thrilled to get the photo, it really was a once-in-a lifetime shot."