Recently, Mr. Watson wrote a letter to the editor regarding the recent sightings and concerns about a crocodile in his area. He suggested some interesting points to consider.
For those of you who went online to write your opinions in response, you might want to consider something called Google before you make seemingly expert statements. I am not a croc expert so I did just that and here are some of the real facts from experts.
First the alleged fact and then the real fact. There has never been a documented attack on a person by a crocodile: False, two people were attacked in South Florida late at night in a known croc-inhabited area. There have been no documented events of crocs attacking dogs in the Keys.:False, one in Key Largo and one in Key West, which was witnessed by a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer. In the first event the dog survived, in the second, not so lucky. And last, not important but crocs do not live in the everglades: Again false, they do.
Dogs look similar to small animals that crocs feed on, therefore, they may fall victim, which should concern us about small children. I watched a croc in Marathon swim by a dock at a rental house that was only six inches above the water line. I would estimate it was eight to nine feet’ long. I have witnessed dogs and small children playing on that dock often.
One person pointed out that we have dangers that come with the territory such as sharks, lionfish, etc. That is true but I think most visitors recognize and accept those dangers and those dangers don’t come out of the water onto land to attack.
Crocs are protected and their numbers are growing and consequently their territories are growing. They will travel great distances for food. The FWC has suggestions for living with crocs, two of which are building fences (do we really want to build fences along our canals) and watching small children closely. Tell the father at Walt Disney World who lost his son to a gator in the park even after he wrestled for all he was worth with the gator to free his son from its jaws. Do we really want to be in the news for such an event.
If you doubt my stated info do your own research. It’s just a click away. In my opinion, we are likely to see more crocs in the future as their numbers grow and their search for hunting grounds continues. I think if the FWC is not going to relocate these reptiles, we should at least post signs that crocodiles do inhabit our canals. It is the responsible thing to do. Probably won’t help property values but hey, it just comes with the territory,
Eric Viehman, Marathon