Crocodile likely not responsible for kayakers’ injuries
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459;
Officer Robert Dube, 305-684-8703
After investigating a report of a human-crocodile encounter,
officers and biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC) believe it is highly unlikely that an
American crocodile was responsible for injuring two kayakers during
an early morning trip in Sexton Cove, near Key Largo, last month.
The FWC cannot determine what the kayakers encountered.
The FWC found no indication of a multiple-tooth bite pattern
characteristic of an alligator or crocodile bite, and the scratches
were not consistent with either a bite or the number of toenails on
either alligator or crocodile feet. It is possible, however, that a
large alligator or crocodile overturned the kayak in an attempt to
flee, but no animal was reported seen.
The kayakers reported hitting something in the water and
overturning. While in the water, something brushed against them,
they said. They did not see an animal and initially thought they
may have been brushed by a manatee.
Shy and reclusive, American crocodiles are an endangered species
success story. Since 1975, their numbers have increased from fewer
than 300 to more than 1,500 adults. Today, they are classified as a
As the crocodile population has grown, the number of complaints
about them has risen. Conflicts between crocodiles and humans,
however, are still very rare. Because crocodiles grow large, people
must use caution when near them or recreating in areas where they
For more information about living
with crocodiles, visit MyFWC.com/Crocodile.