Crocodile captured after shocking tourists at Florida beach

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  Nov. 21, 2017 at 9:01 AM
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Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Wildlife officers relocated a 6-foot crocodile after the reptile made a surprise appearance at a Florida beach.

Visitors to Hollywood Beach said they were shocked when the croc first appeared in the sand early Monday morning.

Hollywood police said the crocodile, which was first spotted near the Dania Beach pier, may have wandered to the beach from a nearby canal.

"Most of the waterways in the city do connect in somehow, shape or form to the ocean so he might have made his way through there," Officer Christian Lata told WPTV. "Myself, I'm from California. I've never seen something like this."

American crocodiles are known to inhabit the Florida Keys and the Everglades, but are rarely seen as far north as Hollywood, experts said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers arrived at the beach and attempted to snare the reptile with catch poles, but it gave them the slip and swam down the beach.

A crowd of about 100 onlookers followed the FWC officers as they tracked the croc and were eventually able to ensnare it about 1:30 p.m.

"They kind of wore him out though, he kinda gave up at the end. I wouldn't call it a capture, as much as a surrender," witness and wildlife enthusiast Pat Kane said.

The FWC said the crocodile will be relocated to a more appropriate area.

"It will be evaluated, tagged and released into a suitable mangrove habitat," FWC spokesman Rob Klepper said in a statement to WPLG-TV.

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