Crocodile Population At Record High In Everglades

By  //  September 24, 2014

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HATCHLINGS NEARLY DOUBLE THE COUNT OF 2013

ABOVE VIDEO: CNN’s John Zarrella reports on the American Crocodile making a comeback from its status as a threatened species.

crocodile-slider-435GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA — According to a report from scientists at the University of Florida, a record number of hatchlings were counted at Everglades National Park.

According to researcher Frank Mazzoti, his team caught 962 of the hatchlings in the park this year, a total that nearly doubles the 554 found in the park in 2013.

Prior to the population increase discovered this year, many biologists  blamed a decline in the American Crocodile on agricultural projects and canals which depleted fresh water in the southern region of the state.

In 2009, a crocodile was trapped at the Cocoa Beach Pier. Former President of tthe Cocoa Beach Pier Giles Malone recalls his incredible encounter with the crocodile while he was working.

Croc at Cocoa Beach Pier in 2009. Photo courtesy of Boardistan.com

Croc at Cocoa Beach Pier in 2009. Photo courtesy of Boardistan.com

“We saw lots of remarkable things over my 25 years at the Pier, but one of the most shocking was the crocodile,” Malone said.

“Yes, there was actually an American crocodile, in the ocean, under the Cocoa Beach Pier, in June of 2009. At the time, we had to tell people to get out of the water for safety and a trapper came and took it away. I understand that the trapper had to release it back into the ocean in a less people-populated area.  It was pretty shocking to see a crocodile under the pier swimming around. If they are under the pier, I suppose they could be anywhere around here that they choose to go.”

Joe Palermo of Sea Wrangle Charter Fising

Joe Palermo of Sea Wrangle Charter Fising

Captain Joe Palermo, owner of the Sea Wrangler charter boat, also confirmed crocodiles in the area. 

“I know that there are crocodiles in the Canaveral National Seashore area,” said Palermo.

“We have also seen lots of gators on the port feeding on carcasses and they are often seen in the area known as the ‘Bite.”” (referring to the shoreline area between the port’s jetties and the tip of the cape to the north). 

ABOVE VIDEO: Photographers get a bit too close for comfort and scream as faced with crocodiles at the Florida Everglades national park. (Report by Kat Hayes)

ABOVE VIDEO: Terrified onlookers recorded this video from a bridge as a tourist swam away from a hungry 10-foot crocodile in Mexico.

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