Man Eating Crocodiles Found in Florida Swamps

Man Eating Crocodiles Found in Florida Swamps

Most alligators and crocodiles in Florida do not actively seek out humans for prey.  However, one of the most dangerous and aggressive crocodile species in the world has recently been discovered in Florida.  The Nile crocodile is thought to be responsible for more than 200 deaths in their native habitat in Africa, and officials are not sure how they have made their way into Florida swamps. 

Large and Aggressive

The Nile crocodile can grow up to 20 feet long, which is more than three times the average size of species that are native to Florida.  They also feed on a wide-range of prey that includes everything from shrimp and fish to livestock and humans.  These indiscriminate killers pose a serious threat to the ecosystem in Florida if they are breeding and reproducing, and officials are concerned that residents and those who interact with local waters will not know how to deal with this new threat.

In Africa, they are known for eating zebras, hippos other crocodiles and even elephants.  Many people that get killed simply are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Simply swimming in the water or using it for doing laundry or fishing lead to ferocious attacks on a regular basis.  This behavior is what concerns people the most.  As a general rule, most alligators and crocodiles only attack humans if they accidentally encroach on their territory or pose a threat.  The Nile crocodile is opportunistic and offensive, meaning that they will strike at anything that may seem like a tasty meal.

Additionally, the Nile crocodile ferociously protect their young.  They defend nests and stay with eggs until the baby crocodiles are born.  Anyone who accidentally gets too close to these predators or their territory is fair game.

Males vs Females

Males are larger and more aggressive than females.  However, females will go after anyone who poses a threat to their nests.  Both will also attack during breeding season if people get too close.  In Africa, this happens in the dry season.  Nobody knows what will happen in Florida until the species can be tracked and studied. 

Both never stop growing throughout their life.  The largest ones can weigh as much as 1400 pounds.  Adults have an olive color with a yellowish underside.  Young Nile crocodiles are more greenish/grey in color and have black bands on their bodies that go away as they get older.  Nile crocodiles also tend to have a mid section that appears to be chubby and a more narrow, triangular head.

How to Deal With an Attack

The best thing to do is to become aware of their habitat and avoid it at all costs.  Due to their aggression, there are no known, reliable strategies that can be used to ward off an attack except to get away as quickly as possible.  One of the most dangerous areas are along the water’s edge where they lay eggs and hunt for food.  Being in the water itself is also incredibly dangerous, and their keen sense of smell can lead them to far away prey.  They stalk very well, and can move quickly without making a lot of noise. 

To date, there are no known attacks on humans or livestock by the Nile crocodile in Florida.  However, risks are undoubtedly likely to increase as the species reproduces and expands throughout freshwater marshes and swamps over time.  The best advice?  Bring a gun with you if you will be on, in or near waters that may contain these predatory beasts.  One thing is for certain  If the they reproducing, the Nile crocodile will be here to stay.

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