Scientists think that four crocodiles found in the state are Nile crocodiles, a species considered invasive and able to weigh up to 1 ½ tons and grow up to 21 feet long. Still, such huge specimens were rarely registered.
The place where the four Nile crocodiles were found is South Miami-Dade County starting from 2009. Some researchers think that other crocodiles could be currently living in Florida. If that is true, these crocodiles might be a risk for larger animals.
The Nile crocodile is popular for its aggressive behavior, and the statistics showed that between 2010 and 2014, 480 attacks were registered in Africa. Out of these, 123 lead to death. According to Zack Murphy, an alligator handler in Florida, Nile crocodiles usually go out for the biggest prey, especially because they are the largest reptiles.
Experts believe that these crocodiles were brought from South Africa to Florida for zoo displays or as pets. Later, the animals escaped from a facility called Predator World. One of the four crocodiles was found on the porch of a residence, but fortunately, it was only a hatchling.
Another one was found in a private zoo and the third in a public park. The fourth was a 3-foot-long female that was discovered trapped in a canal, tagged and released in 2012. Scientists came across it again two years later when it was over 5 ½ feet long.
The last two crocodiles could represent a danger but thanks to the fact that they were found fast and tagged, in the case of the female, it seems that experts have the situation under control. Plus, one of the researchers stated that there is no evidence the crocodiles reproduced since then. However, because they were introduced into Florida wilderness, it might lead to future dangerous situations.
Kenneth Krysko, a biologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History, stated that he hopes people are aware of the fact there are invasive species in Florida.
Nevertheless, officials with the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission have the exact report on the number of Nile crocodiles in Florida. Plus they said that even if they are already prepared to tackle every future problem, the situation is less likely to become unstable.