Well let’s hope they can trace this individual back to it’s origin instead of the alternative – that there are dangerous exotic crocs living in the wild in Florida.
The ante just went up on threats from exotic invaders in the Everglades with the capture of a Nile crocodile last Sunday.
Although American crocodiles — rare and shy of humans — are occasionally seen in the northern Florida Keys, only a few Nile crocodiles have been spotted and captured in the Everglades. Nile crocodiles are much more aggressive, prefer larger prey and responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people in Africa every year.
A volunteer group called the Swamp Apes (cute) found the animal and notified the park service. The animal is a juvenile and not yet of breeding age. A team of professionals was able to corral and capture the animal away from the public using a tranquilizer. It was taken to the Everglades Alligator farm in Homestead. It is now a criminal investigation in order to determine how the exotic, illegal crocodile got there.
It is thought that the animal escaped from a facility in Miami-Dade County with two others, which were captured in 2009 and 2012. They have been looking for this one for two years. Now, they will conduct DNA tests to see if it matches the signature of the others. If it does, the owner will face charges.
Nile crocs are a federally protected species because they are threatened internationally. It appears those animal trackers looking for it were not authorized to kill it. Hmm, what else is hiding in the Everglades? It’s a jungle out there.
Here is the press release issued by the National Park Service.