Often the sight of a crocodile in a waterway frightens nearby residents. Crocodiles are shy and reclusive, and typically choose to stay away from areas where people live. They will sometimes come into developed areas, but often move on in a short time. Even if a crocodile remains in the area, there is no reason to be unduly alarmed.

There has never been a documented bite on a person by an American crocodile in Florida. Unleashed pets are at some risk from crocodiles, but pets are always at risk near the water because of the more likely presence of alligators.

Despite its shy nature, a crocodile is still a predatory animal and could be dangerous. You should never approach a crocodile, and if you see one that concerns you, you can call the FWC's Statewide Nuisance Alligator Hotline (1-866-FWC-GATOR [866-392-4286]) to report the animal. Your information will be given to a biologist who will speak to you about the situation. An FWC Crocodile Response Agent may be sent to do a site visit at your location to gather more information, if warranted.

Often the best course of action is to simply give the crocodile time to move on. Fencing is also an option in many cases. If the FWC's Nuisance Crocodile Coordinator determines that a public safety issue exists, the animal might be captured and relocated.

Relocation is often unsuccessful because crocodiles can, and usually do return to their capture site, even traveling over long distances to get there. Relocation is considered a last option; not only does it usually result in only a temporary solution to the problem, but relocated crocodiles often die attempting to return to their capture site.

If a nuisance crocodile continues to return to the capture site, or its behavior presents an unacceptable risk to people, under certain circumstances, it could be removed from the wild and placed into captivity.

If you operate an exhibit that is open to the public or provide educational presentations and are interested in giving a home to a crocodile, you may contact Lindsey Hord @ 863-462-5197 or  lindsey.hord@myfwc.com for information on the required permits.

For crocodiles to continue to recover, people must be willing to coexist with them whenever possible. If you see a crocodile, consider yourself lucky - crocodiles are rare and reclusive and few Floridians get an opportunity to observe them!

FWC Facts:
A 2011 survey showed that 49 percent of residents and 47 percent of tourists participate in wildlife-viewing trips in Florida.

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