An enormous crocodile has been spotted sunbathing in a moored boat in Islamorada, Florida.
The 10-foot reptile has taken quite a liking to the spot, and boat captain Jenna Greer said it seems he has taken up a regular residency there.
“I was coming into work in the early morning to set up my boat that’s docked next to this derelict one and he was there,” Greer told Newsweek. “He’s there often actually […] and he’s aware that I’m around but not so shy as to jump in the water and swim away like other crocs I’ve seen in the area.”
The 10-foot crocodile sunbathing in a docked boat in Islamorada, Florida. He likes the spot and goes there regularly.
The crocodile stayed for about 30 to 40 minutes after Greer first saw him, although it’s unclear how long he had already been on the boat. “They’re known to stay on that boat overnight as well so he could’ve been there longer,” she said.
American crocodiles can be found along coastal areas in South Florida and throughout the Caribbean, according to the Florida Wildlife Commission. They are usually seen in ponds, coves and creeks, although they can occasionally find themselves further inland due to Florida’s extensive canal system.
Florida is home to roughly 2,000 adult crocodiles, a significant increase from the 1970s when only a few hundred of the animals were left in the state. However, the species is still classified as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“They’re pretty common in this area but still scarce when it gets really hot like it does in the summer months,” Greer said.
“Because these animals are ectothermic (cold blooded), they have to rely on heat from their environment to maintain their body temperature. I see them a lot more in colder months because they’re trying to use the energy from the sun to warm their body temperature,” Greer said. “When the air temperature gets hot they tend to stay in the water to stay cool. Another way of regulating their body temperature is holding their mouth open like you see in the photo.”
Greer shared photos of the reptile on Facebook, in a post that has received over 1,000 likes.
“He wants a boat ride too,” said one user.
“Crikey,” said another.
To stay safe around these apex predators, the Florida Wildlife Commission advises against allowing your pets to swim in or drink from water that might contain crocodiles. “Always keep pets at a safe distance from the water,” it said in a brochure on crocodile safety.
It’s also illegal to feed crocodiles, as this can make them used to people and cause them to become more aggressive.
Source : Newsweek