Did you see it? Crocodiles on Key Biscayne? Precautions to keep in mind

As images of a crocodile sighting this past Monday on the beach of Key Biscayne behind Key Colony, began to circulate on social networks, panic set in as many residents feared entering the waters and coming face to face with the reptiles.

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Witnesses who sent photos to Islander News said the crocodile came ashore on Key Colony beach.

This is not new. In the summer of 2019, at least two large crocodiles were spotted on Key Biscayne beaches, prompting a quick reaction from the city to alert those entering the water.

The City of Key Biscayne sent a notification in the summer of 2019 to alert that more crocodiles could appear in the sea, and that in that case Urgent notice must be given to wildlife authorities at (866) 392-4286.

According to the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC), American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) are a shy and reclusive species. They tend to be somewhat larger than the alligators found in vast regions of Florida and the Everglades, they are occasionally encountered inland in freshwater areas of the SE Florida coast because of the extensive canal system.

Should you spot a croc in the waters around Key Biscayne, immediately call 866-392-4286 (866-FWC-GATOR). A state crocodile agent will respond.

In the event of a crocodile encounter, here are some helpful tips provided by the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC):

- Keep your safe distance.

- Swim in the sea only during daylight hours. Crocodiles are most active between dusk and dawn.

- Feeding crocodiles is illegal and can create problems for people who recreate in or near water.

The FWC says a basking crocodile may be surprised by an approaching person and quickly (and noisily) enter the water. This behavior might startle the person, but it should not be misunderstood. Crocodiles would normally enter the water quietly; splashing away indicates that the crocodile is frightened.

For more information click here.

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