Trappers working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are now searching the waters of a canal in Coral Cables after a crocodile attack on Sunday. According to WSVN, Alejandro Jimenez, 26, and Lisset Rendon, 23, were attending a house party in the upscale neighborhood when the two decided to take a late night dip in the nearby canal. Rendon was the first to encounter the 9-foot crocodile, which promptly bit her in the shoulder. Rendon was able to escape but that only drew the reptile’s attention to Jimenez, who was bitten in the hands and torso before he was able to reach the safety of a nearby dock.

“They are very lucky,” FWC spokesperson Jorge Pino told CBS Miami. “They are very lucky that they managed to get away from the crocodile with no problem.”

Rendon’s injuries were described as light and she was not hospitalized. Jimenez however, was transported to South Miami Hospital. His condition has not yet been released, but his sister says that he is recovering from his injuries. Wildlife officials say they are currently searching for any crocodiles in the area matching the description given by witnesses. The canal is known to hold at least three of the reptiles and at least some residents were aware of the dangers in swimming there. Trappers hired by the FWC say they hooked an 11-foot crocodile on Monday, but it got away.

“I will never be able to tell if this is the one that was involved the other night,” said Todd Hardwick, one of the trappers. “What I can tell you is that we’re going to move the animal out of the neighborhood.”

Florida is well known for its alligator population, but many may not know that the state is home to a small number of crocodiles as well. American crocodiles are generally reclusive creatures that live throughout the Caribbean and in South Florida, where they prefer brackish waters. Although they may be hard to tell apart, crocodiles can be usually be differentiated from alligators by their grayish green coloration and narrow snout. At only about 2,000 individuals, they number far fewer that alligators and are considered relatively rare. The largest concentration of the species in Florida is in the Everglades and Biscayne national parks, as well as the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. As a whole, the crocodile population has been in a slow recovery over the past several decades and is still considered an imperiled species by the FWC.

“There has never been a documented bite on a person by an American crocodile in Florida,” the FWC stated on its website. “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.”

In fact, wildlife officials say there has never been a confirmed wild crocodile attack on a human in the US, and this is likely a first. FWC employees and trappers say they will continue to search for crocodiles in the Coral Cables canal and remove them if found.



Image from Mattstone911 on the Wikimedia Commons

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9 thoughts on “Florida Officials Confirm First Ever Wild Crocodile Attack in the US

  1. A subspecies of crocodile, but Caimans that big…never realized those devils could grow to 11ft…maybe more? Probably best that it wasn’t a bull gator or one of both might not have escaped alive, never mind an African water lizards of the salties of the Aussies! Wow and Ouch!

  2. If it was a late night “dip” are the victims sure it was a croc? The other question remains, why swim in water known to have gators?

    1. Because even big gators will generally avoid humans unless there’s nowhere to go. Crocs are far more aggressive. But yeah, no way in hell I get in any water with any man eating creatures period.

      1. In the Americas it’s actually the other way around. There are a good number of alligator attacks but as the lede says this is the first ever confirmed croc attack on a human. While the salt water crocs of Australia and Africa will routinely attack humans the species of crocodiles that live in the Americas are pretty shy and reclusive, preferring to avoid humans.

      2. American crocs aren’t as nasty as Nile crocs, but they’re far more aggressive and less discriminating about prey than gators. Gator attacks are more frequent because they’re everywhere and American crocs are rare. I’ve got more gators within half an hour of my house then there are crocs in America. Even big bulls will rarely attack a person unless his territory and space are infringed and he’s got nowhere to go or unless a very big gator doesn’t know what he’s attacking.

        If you’re careful, you can swim around even big gators relatively safely (you NOT me). I’ve got friends who scuba dive in black water thick with big bulls. I always decline the invitation. I have lots and lots of friends who swim and ski and board and tube in lakes well known to have large gator populations. I see rednecks sending bird dogs into gator infested swamps and ponds all the time. Apparently if they’re medium to large dogs, the gators rarely will go after a dog. No dog of mine goes anywhere near any giant carnivorous dinosaur lizards of any species.

        Getting into water with a croc, even an American croc is dumb. They’re also likely to flee, but far more likely to make you a snack instead than a gator. Floridians rarely see or encounter crocs because the small population is mostly deep in the Everglades. South of the border in quite a few places, American crocs are more common, and everyone knows to keep their distance.

  3. They should trap and relocate the people too, swimming in at night in an area known to hold crocs / gators is really very stupid.

    1. Really. No kidding. Idiots. We should level the neighborhood as far as possible, and dig more canals, and put water and crocs and alligators where they otherwise wouldn’t be. Expand their ranges. Better yet, move all the human invaders to the swamps and canals, and let the reptiles takeover the mansions (burn down the mission). You know, since those lousy people are so selfish and self promoting. We need a voice for the voiceless crocs and gators!

      1. uhmmm yeah I so totally didn’t say anything like that, but yeah!! swimming after dark in an area known to have crocs is really stupid, they can remove the crocs it will be temporary at best, they will move right back sorta gotta also deal with the really really stupid people. did mention its stupid to swim at night in water with crocs in it?? cuz it really is!!

  4. ‘Wildlife officials say they are currently searching for any crocodiles in the area matching the description given by witnesses.’

    “A big giant lizard, it had a big mouth full of big teeth”.

    I think the term is play stupid games win stupid prizes. Don’t swim in FL canals.

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