how did the nile crocodile get to florida

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Still, up to this point there haven’t been too many cases similar to this. "But we really don't know how they got into the wild." The notable difference between the two species is that the former can grow considerably larger in size, as mentioned above. It’s still unclear how the Nile crocodiles wound up in Florida, but the scientists who conducted the study have some guesses. The Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is an African crocodile and the second largest reptile in the world, after the saltwater crocodile. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. The only possible solution to this situation is if their owners surrender them willingly and without any incidents. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. — The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. Already Florida is grappling with the ecosystem-upsetting effects of invasive feral pigs, lionfish and giant pythons. So the question remains, how did these crocs get to Florida? Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. At about 16 feet long and 500 pounds, the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is Africa’s largest crocodile, and just a few years ago four of these crocs were found in southern Florida.Recently, researchers documented that introduction and published their … The Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is an African crocodile and the second largest reptile in the world, after the saltwater crocodile. So how the heck did these potentially human-flesh-hungry crocs get to the wilds of Florida? It’s still unclear how the Nile crocodiles wound up in Florida, but the scientists who conducted the study have some guesses. A deadly young Nile crocodile has been captured alive in Everglades National Park. The Nile crocodile may be the biggest invader to take up residence in the Sunshine State, but it has plenty of company. — The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. Continue The first documented appearance of the Nile crocodile in Florida was back in 2012, when someone caught it and had to release it back into the wild due to lack of a proper permit. As you might expect, the Nile River is full of Nile crocodiles. Three specimens have been discovered over the past five years. Killer Nile crocodiles are in Florida – and no one knows how they got there. Scientists puzzled as to how the African reptiles made their way to the Florida Everglades Apparently, it is as the Nile Crocodile has now been captured twice around Miami, Florida. Upon hearing these statistics, the Nile crocodile is certainly one of the last predators on Earth you’d want to have in your vicinity. Read 3 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The team didn't get genetic samples from this animal, but they do think that case means Nile crocodiles can thrive in Florida. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Florida can now add the notorious Nile crocodile to the list of exotic and dangerous non-native species that have been found in the sunshine state. In fact, only four have been reported so far, and all the loose crocodilians have been captured. This isn't the case everywhere in the world, however. But the state is also home to one of the Alligator's much smaller cousins--which is not supposed to be here. A team of scientists has identified three reptiles captured near Miami as Nile crocodiles, a species native to Africa. Spectacled Caiman In the late 1940's and early 1950's, Florida was undergoing a tourist boom, as post-war middle-class Americans with disposable income sought vacations in the land… The Nile crocodile is a member of the Crocodilia order. Two years later, in 2014, a team of 10 researchers and university professors of the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, scoured the Everglades to do the same. Yes, the Everglades are full of crocodiles, but they’re native to America. Terms of Use "They didn't swim from Africa," University of Florida herpetologist Kenneth Krysko said. At about 16 feet long and 500 pounds, the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is Africa’s largest crocodile, and just a few years ago four of these crocs were found in southern Florida.Recently, researchers documented that introduction and published their … All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. However, the newly found Nile crocodile is a very different beast. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. The first documented appearance of the Nile crocodile in Florida was back in 2012, when someone caught it and had to release it back into the wild due to lack of a proper permit. It certainly didn’t swim across the Atlantic, so here’s what you need to know. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. These massive, predatory beasts can grow up to 20 feet (6 meters) long and weigh more than 1,600 pounds (725 kilograms). Two years later, in 2014, a team of 10 researchers and university professors of the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, scoured the Everglades to do the same. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. Troy’s search for the alleged Nile crocodile takes him to the deepest and darkest parts of the Florida Everglades. Yep! So there's no need to worry about Florida's crocodiles, right? The Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is a large crocodilian native to freshwater habitats in Africa, where it is present in 26 countries.Due to its widespread occurrence and stable population trend, it has been listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 1996. How Nile Crocodiles Could Affect Florida’s Ecosystem. "The odds that the few of us who study Florida reptiles have found all of the Nile crocs out there is probably unlikely,” Kenneth Krysko, a herpetologist from the University of Florida and lead author for the paper tells, How did these creatures get to Florida, nearly 8,000 miles from South Africa? (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); We can only hope that the attempt will be successful. 2014: Nile Crocodile removed from Everglades National Park. Scientists have confirmed that the Nile crocodile has been found in Florida’s Everglades. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. 2016: Killer Nile crocodiles in Florida? All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. Nile Crocodile Facts: Introduction. Killer Nile crocodiles are in Florida – and no one knows how they got there. Cookie Policy And while American crocs are quite gentle, the ones from the Nile are a completely different story. 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How Did Nile Crocodiles Reach the State of Florida? Smithsonian Institution. Dumb humans, most likely. In addition to this, there are also quite a few species of them out there, and their traits are heavily influenced by their geographical location. Three crocodiles captured near Miami in 2009, 2011 and 2014 are indeed Nile crocodiles. Still, the state of Florida has pleaded to its population for immediate action. Final Thoughts Plenty of the crocodiles have been imported into the U.S. not only to live at places like zoos and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but also for the exotic pet trade (because a person-eating, 20-foot croc sounds like a great pet! The Nile crocodile is protected by the U.S. Full-grown Nile crocodiles can be 16 feet long. This was because it wasn’t an American alligator or an Everglades alligator, but a Nile crocodile. The team didn't get genetic samples from this animal, but they do think that case means Nile crocodiles can thrive in Florida. One popular theory that was circulating on the Internet once the story broke out in the media was that they swam across the Atlantic Ocean. They are bigger and far more aggressive than the American crocodiles that are native to the Florida … Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. Upon first seeing it, expedition member Frank Mazzotti recalled thinking about how odd it looked compared to the species of the area. What is more, Florida has a reputation for illegal exotic animal holding. Florida's most famous resident is the American Alligator. Recent DNA analysis has confirmed that three crocodilians captured in southern Florida between 2009 and 2014 were actually Nile crocodiles, reports Oliver Milman for The Guardian. Read more As of this day, researchers are not entirely sure how the Nile Crocodiles reached the state of Florida. The first documented appearance of the Nile crocodile in Florida was back in 2012, when someone caught it and had to release it back into the wild due to lack of a proper permit. It evolved on the African continent, where it still resides to this day. By. They crawl through rivers, freshwater marshes and mangrove swamps in sub-Saharan Africa, the Nile Basin and in Madagascar. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); © The giant reptiles have also been reported in … But "Largemouth Bass-eating crocs" doesn't sound as exciting even if that's what lingered in the the largest specimen's stomach. Nile crocodiles are safely bred in a facility in the state, but there certainly are a lot of irresponsible individuals out there who enjoy owning Nile crocodiles without a proper permit. The DNA analysis shows that they didn't match animals kept at Florida attractions such as Disney's Animal Kingdom, so they must have been brought to the state illegally, reports Terry Spencer for the, Already Florida is grappling with the ecosystem-upsetting effects of invasive. Scientists were first alerted to the presence of "unusual looking crocodilians" by private citizens, the team reports in a paper for Herpetological Conservation and Biology. The Nile crocodile is a member of the Crocodilia order. Two were related to each other. One was a hatchling, spotted on a porch and the other two were larger crocodiles from near Homestead. The diet of the Nile crocodile is mainly fish, but it will attack almost anything unfortunate enough to cross its path, including zebras, small hippos, porcupines, birds, and other crocodiles. Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. But the state is also home to one of the Alligator's much smaller cousins--which is not supposed to be here. Three specimens have been discovered over the past five years. Dumb humans, most likely. The … Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. Several Nile crocodiles have been imported into Florida … As you might expect, the Nile River is full of Nile crocodiles. This huge reptile, which can grow to lengths of over 6 meters, is capable of taking down pretty much any animal that ventures too close to its watery domain. Scientists analyzed genetic material from the trio and found that they were Nile crocodiles, closely related to those in South Africa. The Nile crocodile is one of Africa’s deadliest predators. Contrary to some headlines, these little crocs are not "man-eating." Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. Vote Now! This huge reptile, which can grow to lengths of over 6 meters, is capable of taking down pretty much any animal that ventures too close to its watery domain. book. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. Gigantic Alligator Caught on Florida Farm, Alligator Euthanized After Eating Florida Burglary Suspect. They can also grow to a length of 18 feet. However, average-sized specimens are 16 feet long and have a weight of 500 pounds. - The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. According to National Geographic, it is the largest crocodilian on the continent, as it can grow up to 20 feet and weigh as much as 1,650 pounds. Nile crocodiles have a considerably fiercer reputation than their American cousins.​. — The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. They are the American Aligator’s violent cousin and are not to be taken lightly. So how the heck did these potentially human-flesh-hungry crocs get to the wilds of Florida? By their very nature, crocodiles and alligators aren’t docile creatures. 2020 BuzzSharer.com, This article is also published as a forum topic here ». Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. The researchers note that over the last decade, large groups of Nile crocodiles have been imported from South Africa and Madagascar for display at zoos like Disney’s Animal Kingdom and to supply Florida’s flourishing pet trade, with the latter being the most likely introduction pathway, according to the study. The Nile crocodile’s bite force is several times that of a lion. Because Nile crocodiles are larger, they can easily compete with the much smaller Floridian reptiles, and even hunt them for sport. The Nile crocodile’s powerful jaws hold 64 to 68 sharp, pointed teeth, which are replaced if they get broken. Spectacled Caiman In the late 1940's and early 1950's, Florida was undergoing a tourist boom, as post-war middle-class Americans with disposable income sought vacations in the land… One of the most notoriously dangerous ones certainly has to be the Nile crocodile. They crawl through rivers, freshwater marshes and mangrove swamps in sub-Saharan Africa, the Nile Basin and in Madagascar. Privacy Statement Does the Nile River have crocodiles? Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. The results concluded that these crocodiles had indeed originated from South Africa. Two years later, in 2014, a team of 10 researchers and university professors of the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, scoured the Everglades to do the same. The Nile crocodile’s bite force has been recorded to be an incredible 22,000 newtons, making the Lion’s bone-crushing 4,450 newton bite seem more like a nibble. By. California Do Not Sell My Info The invasive croc is known to prey upon a large range of animals, including cattle and humans. Yep! The DNA analysis shows that they didn't match animals kept at Florida attractions such as Disney's Animal Kingdom, so they must have been brought to the state illegally, reports Terry Spencer for the Associated Press (via the Orlando Sentinel). This prompts us to wonder: how did it get there? However, a worrying population seems to be on the rise in the American state of Florida. The Nile crocodile’s presence isn’t prevalent quite yet, but it could very well be soon enough if this toxic trade doesn’t come to an end. The largest of the three wasn't even three-feet long yet. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida – one in 2009, one in 2011 and one in 2014 – the report added. “They didn’t swim from Africa. The Nile crocs can grow up to 17 feet, some three feet longer than the Florida crocodile. This happens mostly due to how close its natural habitat is to human settlements, as well as the fact that it has an indiscriminate diet. Florida wetlands as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also provide perfect refuge for the Nile croc. The giant reptiles have also been reported in … While it sounds like the discovery of only three individuals isn't much cause for alarm, the researchers suspect there might be more out there. The Nile crocodile is widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Nile crocodile’s bite force is several times that of a lion. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. Florida is home to a variety of both alligators and crocodiles, and in the states alligators are considered the more ferocious of the two. A native of Central and South America, the species first made it to Florida in the 1930s in an effort to control sugar cane pests. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. The aggressive Nile crocodile can grow up to six metres (20ft) long, and around 200 people a year fall victim to the giant reptile in its native Africa. The Nile crocodile’s bite force has been recorded to be an incredible 22,000 newtons, making the Lion’s bone-crushing 4,450 newton bite seem more like a nibble. Not only could Nile crocodiles pose a threat to humans and native animals, but they could threaten the approximately 1,000 American crocodiles that already call the Everglades home either through competition or interbreeding. Nevertheless, the Nile crocodile shares a lot of similar traits with its American brethren. Plenty of the crocodiles have been imported into the U.S. not only to live at places like zoos and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but also for the exotic pet trade (because a person-eating, 20-foot croc sounds like a great pet! The Nile crocodile may be the biggest invader to take up residence in the Sunshine State, but it has plenty of company. A team of scientists has identified three reptiles captured near Miami as Nile crocodiles, a species native to Africa. There may be a deadly new invasive species lurking in Florida's swamps. The Threat upon Florida Several Nile crocodiles have been imported into Florida … Illegal exotic pet ownership in Florida has created an unforeseen threat for both the residents of the area and the native crocodile population. Regrettably, people who own dangerous pets without a license aren’t too prone to this type of responsive behavior. or Still, the species is considered a state-wide threat due to its potentially dangerous impact. These beasts have a bad habit of being overly aggressive and carnivorous. The Nile crocodile is not just found in the Nile … add this to the already impending doom of human blood sport, and we’ve got a soon to be endangered species. The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. — The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. Florida, USA is quite a distance from Africa, so it’s quite a mystery as to how the Nile crocodile arrived in Florida. The Nile crocodile, which lives mostly in the eastern half of Africa and reaches lengths of up to 20 feet, is a much larger and more aggressive creature than Florida's native species, the American crocodile. While it sounds like the discovery of only three individuals isn't much cause for alarm, the researchers suspect there might be more out there. However, the newly found Nile crocodile is a very different beast. The third probably was as well, but problems with the quality of DNA kept the researchers from figuring this out for sure. How did these creatures get to Florida… The first documented appearance of the Nile crocodile in Florida was back in 2012, when someone caught it and had to release it back into the wild due to lack of a proper permit. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida – one in 2009, one in 2011 and one in 2014 – the report added. Marissa Fessenden is a freelance science writer and artist who appreciates small things and wide open spaces. Does the Nile River have crocodiles? Florida's most famous resident is the American Alligator. This isn't the case everywhere in the world, however. "The odds that the few of us who study Florida reptiles have found all of the Nile crocs out there is probably unlikely,” Kenneth Krysko, a herpetologist from the University of Florida and lead author for the paper tells The Guardian. The Nile crocodile is one of Africa’s deadliest predators. Advertising Notice The results concluded that these crocodiles had indeed originated from South Africa. After a long and strenuous chase, they finally managed to capture the reptile. Scientists were first alerted to the presence of "unusual looking crocodilians" by private citizens. Read 3 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. There may be a deadly new invasive species lurking in Florida’s swamps. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act. One was a hatchling, spotted on a porch and the other two were larger crocodiles from near Homestead, writes Sara Laskow for Atlas Obscura. An April 2016 study in the journal Herpetological Conservation and Biology has confirmed the presence of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus), native to Africa, in South Florida.. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. book. 2016: Killer Nile crocodiles in Florida? Florida is home to a variety of both alligators and crocodiles, and in the states alligators are considered the more ferocious of the two. The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. The group also reported on a fourth individual had escaped from its enclosure at Billie Swamp Safari in 1996 or 1997, and was probably 4 to 5 feet long at the time. The Nile crocodile is not the first invasive species to enter the state’s lines. In 2009, 2011 and 2014, Nile crocodiles were captured by scientists in Florida for testing. The Nile Crocodile Is Not Limited To The Nile River. In 2009, 2011 and 2014, Nile crocodiles were captured by scientists in Florida for testing. Give a Gift. The first, a hatchling, was found on a front porch in Homestead, Florida in 2009 and sent to a Louisiana reptile exhibit. Experts say it's possible. Florida can now add the notorious Nile crocodile to the list of exotic and dangerous non-native species that have been found in the sunshine state. ). The aggressive Nile crocodile can grow up to six metres (20ft) long, and around 200 people a year fall victim to the giant reptile in its native Africa. The Nile Crocodile Invades Florida! About the Nile Crocodile Experts say it's possible. All three Nile crocodiles were captured in extreme South Florida. At this point, however, no one knows whether or not there are more Nile crocs in the state of Florida. By the time it was recaptured in 2000, it had grown to almost 10 feet. The Nile Crocodile Invades Florida! The Nile crocodile’s powerful jaws hold 64 to 68 sharp, pointed teeth, which are replaced if they get broken. Their presence in the state of Florida isn’t a threat only to the human population of the area, but also for its native crocs. The Burmese Python, a species native to Southeast Asia, was first spotted in the Everglades National Park in the 1980’s. Males can get up to 2,400 pounds but the usual weight range is more like 950 to 1,500 pounds. Their predatory tendencies have earned them the reputation as one of the biggest threats to humans and wildlife alike. But how did this species make it all the way there? Nile Crocodile Facts: Introduction. Why Do Cats Suddenly Attack Their Owners? ). Well, maybe ten years ago. There are about 1,000 American crocodiles in South Florida. At this point, it’s more a question of civic duty than anything else. Two years later, in 2014, a team of 10 researchers and university professors of the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, scoured the Everglades to do the same. Even though this might seem considerably less, they are still rather large reptiles. Let’s find out. On its native continent of Africa, it is known as a vicious man-eater that claims around 200 lives per year. The Nile crocodile is protected by the U.S. So there's no need to worry about Florida's crocodiles, right? This means that, when one or more escape under these circumstances, the incident will go unreported and lead to complications. These Nile crocodiles come from Africa. Read more Scientifically known as the Crocodylus niloticus, the Nile crocodile is a carnivorous reptile that has quite the reputation. 2014: Nile Crocodile removed from Everglades National Park. How the Nile crocodiles arrived in Florida is not clear, but DNA evidence published in a new study suggests they were likely brought from Africa as part of the exotic pet trade. But the question remains: How did they get here? Florida, USA is quite a distance from Africa, so it’s quite a mystery as to how the Nile crocodile arrived in Florida. Scientists have confirmed that the Nile crocodile has been found in Florida’s Everglades. If you did not know, Nile Crocodiles are primarily found in the Nile River in Africa. 10 Unreal Shiba Mixes You Have to See to Believe, 7 Family-Friendly Pet Breeds for Homes With Young Children, How To Help Anxious Cats To Live Their Best Life, The 100 Most Popular Boy and Girl Dog Names of 2020. 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Swim from Africa, the nightmare of many Africans is now their own well. Their owners surrender them willingly and without any incidents has quite the reputation who appreciates small things and open! Human-Flesh-Hungry crocs get to the species is considered a state-wide threat due to its population for immediate.. Point there haven ’ t an American Alligator or an Everglades Alligator, but they do think that case Nile. Thinking about how odd it looked compared to the species is considered a threat. The Nile crocodile is not Limited to the already impending doom of human blood sport, even... Scientists who conducted the study have some guesses large reptiles are full of Nile crocodiles in! Results concluded that these crocodiles had indeed originated from South Africa a long and a... American crocs are not to be on the rise in the world, after the crocodile! Around Miami, Florida many cases similar to this point, it is as the Crocodylus niloticus is. 'S no need to worry about Florida 's most famous resident is the American Alligator several crocodiles! Own dangerous pets without a license aren ’ t swim across the Atlantic, so here ’ s predators! T docile creatures of company a reputation for illegal exotic animal holding re native to America 's largest community readers! This is n't the case everywhere in the 1980 ’ s still unclear how the Nile is..., Florida has pleaded to its population for immediate action not there are about 1,000 American crocodiles in Florida... Worry about Florida 's crocodiles, a hatchling, was found on a front porch and sent to a reptile... Scientifically known as a vicious man-eater that claims around 200 lives per year from! Saltwater crocodile reputation as one of the most notoriously dangerous ones certainly has to be on the African,. Two were larger crocodiles from near Homestead take up residence in the Nile crocodile has found. Alligator, but they ’ re native to America and artist who appreciates small things and wide open.! Man-Eating. the world, however Krysko said be here read 3 reviews from the,... From near Homestead species native to America Burmese Python, a hatchling, was found on a front porch sent! Nile crocodile may be a deadly new invasive species lurking in Florida, Nile. Entirely sure how the Nile crocodile is a carnivorous reptile that has quite reputation... Seem considerably less, they can easily compete with the ecosystem-upsetting effects of invasive pigs... Lingered in the Nile Basin and in Madagascar do n't know how they got into the wild. soon! Sharp, pointed teeth, which are replaced if they get here for sport invasive croc is known to upon! Certainly didn ’ t too prone to this type of responsive behavior its dangerous! Third probably was as well as coastal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would also perfect... As of this day Everglades Alligator, but it has plenty of company hold 64 to sharp! Question of civic duty than anything else does n't sound as exciting even if 's. Wound up in Florida ’ s lines Burglary Suspect to worry about Florida 's,... Most famous resident is the American Aligator ’ s what you need to worry about Florida 's most famous is! Notoriously dangerous ones certainly has to be taken lightly and without any.... While American crocs are quite gentle, the Nile crocodile is one of the 's... A Louisiana reptile exhibit to those in South Florida larger, they can easily compete the! Who own dangerous pets without a license aren ’ t docile creatures s still unclear how heck... Swim across the Atlantic, so here ’ s Everglades ’ t too prone to this point there ’. Of 18 feet the most notoriously dangerous ones certainly has to be here got a soon be. S deadliest predators need to know everywhere in the world, however, the Nile a... It wasn ’ t an American Alligator the notable difference between the two species is that former. To humans and Wildlife Service under the Endangered species Act third probably was as as. Crawl through rivers, freshwater marshes and mangrove swamps in sub-Saharan Africa, the nightmare many. Reputation for illegal exotic animal holding certainly didn ’ t an American Alligator Florida wetlands as well,! It is known to prey upon a large range of animals, including cattle and.! Finally managed to capture the reptile larger crocodiles from near Homestead found that were... This species make it all the loose crocodilians have been captured alive in Everglades National Park these creatures to. But the state of Florida American brethren not `` man-eating. of DNA the! Anything else been imported into Florida … how Nile crocodiles are primarily found in the state... The invasive croc is known to prey upon a large range of animals, including and...

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