Homestead, FL — State wildlife officials have issued an order to kill a potentially dangerous Nile crocodile which is on the loose near Miami.
The kill order is rare, but the Nile crocodile, which hails from Africa and can jump higher, run faster, and grow up to 20 feet long, is much more vicious than its American cousin, reports The Seattle Times.
The Nile crocodile is also much more likely to encounter humans and domestic animals, because it prefers freshwater, while the American crocodile likes saltwater. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials are investigating where the Nile croc came from, though it probably escaped from a local breeder or other facility.
Joe Wasilewski, a reptile expert and veteran wrangler, stated:
“They get big. They’re vicious. The animals are just more aggressive and they learn that humans are easy targets … [the American croc] is a gentle animal, believe it or not. That’s their nature. They’re more fish eaters. They don’t consider humans as a prey source.”
The Sacramento Bee notes that the Nile crocodile currently on the loose hear Miami is a little bit longer than three feet, so it is not a threat — yet. Officials have decided, however, that it is better to take care of the potential problem now, instead of having to wait for a fatal encounter.
Only FWC agents are allowed to kill the Nile crocodile. If it is caught alive, they have orders to euthanize it. The move is a proactive stance, not only to prevent a possible deadly encounter, but also to assure that Nile crocodiles don’t get a foothold in the state, which is already plagued by several exotic non-native species.
[Image from ShutterStock]