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Dimensions2000 x 1873
Original file size1.42 MB
Image typeJPEG

ROB O'NEAL/The Citizen
From left, Dave Smith, Adam Schmiedeker and his three-year-old son, Leo, check out a 9 1/2 foot American crocodile Friday morning on Stock Island. The reptile, believed to weigh about 250 pounds, was carefully trapped by Matt Royer of the Florida Keys SPCA in a lagoon between the residential area of 6th Street to the south and Leo's Campground to the north. After being secured to a board, the animal was relocated to an undisclosed location up the Keys. A similarly-sized crocodile attacked and killed a small dog Thursday evening at Boyd's Campground across MacDonald Avenue when it chased an iguana into Boca Chica Bay. Residents are urged to avoid the mostly-docile creatures and to report sightings to American crocodiles to FWC office. American crocodiles are found in Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, along the Caribbean coast from southern Mexico to Venezuela, and along the Pacific coast from Peru to Mexico with South Florida being their northernmost habitat. After extensive hunting from the 1930s to the 1960s, the American crocodile's population decreased dramatically. Today, the reptile is listed as 'Threatened' on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission making them illegal to harm, molest or kill.