Crocodile hits the beach on Florida’s east coast
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (CBSMiami) A crowd of curious beachgoers on Hollywood Beach spotted a 6-foot-long crocodile on the sand.
A CBS Miami helicopter spotted it in the surf line off Hayes Street. It wasn’t moving and just letting the surf lap over it.
A growing crowd of curious people snapped selfies with the croc in the background. Police kept them from getting too close. Florida Fish and Wildlife has been contacted.
The Florida Marine Patrol reported seeing the croc earlier around the Dania Beach Pier area.
While some people may find it strange, the American crocodile lives in coastal areas throughout the Caribbean with the northern end of their range in South Florida.
They are shy, reclusive animals who live in brackish or saltwater areas. They are occasionally encountered inland in freshwater areas of the Southeast Florida coast as a result of the extensive canal system.
“Crocodiles have always inspired fear and fascination not only because of their large size and fearsome teeth, but because of the aggressive reputations earned by their distant cousins in Australia and Africa. In reality, the American crocodile is so rare and shy of man that conflict with people rarely occurs,” according to a University of Florida study.
The American crocodile is listed as an endangered species by the U.S. and the State of Florida.
The number of crocodiles in Florida has never been large; researchers estimate a population of perhaps only 400 to 500.