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FWC investigating reported human-crocodile encounter

For immediate release: May 5, 2011
Contact: Gabriella Ferraro, 772-215-9459;
Officer Robert Dube, 305-684-8703

FWC investigating reported human-crocodile encounter

Officers and biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are working together to determine if what two kayakers encountered during an early morning trip in Sexton Cove, near Key Largo, last Thursday was an American crocodile.

With limited information at hand, the FWC cannot conclude what animal the kayakers encountered. The FWC suspects this may have been a chance occurrence and not an overt act by whatever animal the kayakers may have encountered. Wild animals instinctively flee from an unexpected or perceived threatening or encounter with a human.

The pair reported that their kayak hit something in the water and overturned. While in the water, the kayakers reported something brushing against them. They did not see the animal and thought it was a manatee.

Once home, both kayakers realized they had suffered minor injuries. They were treated for their injuries a few hours later.

The kayakers could not recall all the details of the incident. The FWC cannot confirm what caused the kayak to overturn, but there are many animals and things found in water that can cause scratches and wounds to people.

The shy and reclusive American crocodile is an endangered species success story. Since 1975, their numbers have increased from fewer than 300 to more than 1,500 adults. Today, they are classified as a threatened species.

As the crocodile population has grown, the number of complaints about them has risen. However, conflicts between crocodiles and humans are still very rare. Because crocodiles get large, people must use caution when near them or recreating in areas where they are found.

For more information about living with crocodiles, visit MyFWC.com/Crocodile.