Florida is home to all kinds of reptiles. Its humid and waterlogged environment makes it a great place for these types of animals to thrive, although there have recent been some sightings of an exotic species that, as far as researchers know, don’t actually belong there.
It’s not uncommon to see crocodiles in Florida, but in a weird change of events, researchers from the University of Florida have reportedly discovered a man-eating species of killer Nile crocodiles in the region.
"They didn't swim from Africa," University of Florida herpetologist Kenneth Krysko said. "But we really don't know how they got into the wild."
The species, which are native to Africa, got here somehow and it’s stumping scientists. It’s unlikely that the creatures swam across the ocean to get to the United States, so they must have been imported in some way and then set free in the area to roam in the wild.
The species has been found in various swamps throughout the everglades and in Miami. One of them was even spotted on someone’s front porch of their house, which was clearly a shocking event for whoever had lived there.
These crocodile species can grow up to 18 feet long, and while there have been no local cases of the species attacking humans just yet, the growing number of discoveries of the creature is revealing alarmed emotions in scientists and locals.
Despite not having harmed anyone locally yet, Nile crocodiles were reportedly responsible for 480 attacks on humans and 128 casualties between the years 2010 and 2014 in their African homelands.
The species, which may have multiplied in the wild for all researches know, pose a threat to the many everglades visitors who roam to the area to get a good view of nature. Many of the visitors also don’t know how to distinguish between crocodiles and alligators, which means humans may inadvertently get too close to the deadly species and could lead to serious harm.
The only three known to exist in Florida’s wild have been captured for public safety, but there could be more out there.
Everyone in Florida will just have to be careful and not toy with the creatures.
Source: The Guardian