HomeOutdoorsNewsLOOK: 8-Foot Crocodile Spotted Far From Home at Florida Beach

LOOK: 8-Foot Crocodile Spotted Far From Home at Florida Beach

by Craig Garrett
Nile Crocodile Attack - stock photo

In a surprising sighting this week, an 8-foot American crocodile was seen in Central Florida–where they are rare. On Sunday, the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program posted a photo of a large reptile relaxing on the beach in front of the Barrier Island Center. The program called the encounter a “rare sighting” that far north, as Brevard County is about 88 miles southeast of Orlando. “American Crocodiles typically live in coastal areas throughout the Caribbean, and southern Florida is at the very north end of their range,” the program captioned the image on Facebook.

Officials found the 8-foot reptile basking on the beach in front of the Barrier Island Center. Of course, a crocodile is considered young when it reaches eight feet in length. Everglades National Park claims that males maximum length is 20 feet, but they rarely grow more than 14 feet in the wild. This latest crocodile sighting comes just one month after another incident involving an unexpected encounter with the reptile species. Tiara Alessandra Weethee, of Sebastian, Florida, shared video footage of her own experience encountering a crocodile. This was 25 miles south in Indian River County.

Commenters on social media, including Weethee, speculated if the crocodile swimming north was the same one. The individual she recorded footage of was roughly the same size and had also been spotted on a beach previously. The most recent sighting of the animal has gathered hundreds of reactions and comments on various social media platforms.

Many locals believe crocodiles are moving into new territory

Some people saw it as evidence that crocs are moving into new territory. “Oh great another thing to worry about,” one Facebook user wrote. “This area is too far north for these salt water swimming beasts. … Hope this croc is just another ‘snow-bird’ staying for the holidays.”

According to the state, approximately 1,500-2,000 adult American crocodiles survive in southern Florida’s brackish swamps. According to recorded data and observations, it is believed that the southernmost tip of Brevard County is as far north as this species has been documented. Of course, alligators typically show up on public beaches in Florida. However, they have a preference for fresh water, and experts say they don’t stay long.

After being listed as an endangered species in 1975, the crocodile population has slowly rebounded. It is currently estimated to be around 2,000 individuals. The American crocodile population in Florida is now classified as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. People need to be careful around larger species of crocodiles. They can strike before the person has a chance to react. The most dangerous types are saltwater and Nile crocodiles. They kill hundreds of people each year in Southeast Asia and Africa. Mugger and American crocodiles are also known to be dangerous to humans.