Florida Keys Newbies Find Crocodile Chilling In Pool At Their New Oceanfront Home

A Pennsylvania couple just bought a multi-million dollar home in the Florida Keys, only to find it already had an occupant — a crocodile who loved to chill in the pool.

The unnamed couple are probably much more accustomed to the sight of wandering deer than they are a crocodile. But, this is the Florida Keys, and “here we have all kinds of critters and such,” Officer Robert Dube of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told The Orlando Sun Sentinel.

On Thursday morning at about 7 a.m., the couple arrived at their new Florida Keys retreat on Lower Matecumbe Key, near Islamorada. They had just purchased the oceanfront house four days prior.

With the lavish spot perfectly quiet and empty, the eight-foot long crocodile sidled into the backyard and its refreshing water; the area wasn’t fenced, giving him easy access.

Dube told CBS Miami that it’s likely he was looking for a place to get warm, like most people in the Florida Keys lately. It’s been rather chilly in the area.

“I’m sure it had a lot to do with it. The pool was about 80 degrees so I’m sure it was a lot warmer than the ocean that the crocodile was swimming in, especially with the cool weather we’ve had all week.”

Dube described the creature, seen in a stunning photo stretched out in the shallow-end of the brick-lined pool, as “basically just chilling.”

The couple were reportedly not afraid of the reptile, but didn’t risk interrupting his peaceful relaxation. They called the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and wildlife officials. When they arrived, they spent the first couple minutes trying to figure out how on Earth they were going to capture the crocodile.

But before long, the creature — which is described as being rather shy — slinked away, apparently not in the mood for so many staring, curious eyes.

“The croc decided he didn’t want all the attention and he climbed out of the pool and slid back into the Atlantic Ocean,” Dube said, leaving behind only the tail mark in the sand as a Great White Heron looked on.

The Keys newcomers will have to get use to the sight of an errant crocodile in their neighborhood; and, if they don’t want any more visitors in their pool, they’ll need a fence, officers advised. That’s because in the Florida Keys, crocodiles are about as common a sight as a white-tailed deer in the chilly Northeast.

Florida Keys newbies find crocodile in their pool, call cops
[Photo By evelyng23 / Shutterstock]
In this part of the state, crocodiles are federally protected and are a “great success story,” Dube said, since they were almost hunted into extinction. But as people continue to move into their territory, the crocodile and the Florida Keys residents are bound to meet.

“This croc showing up in the pool, how can you beat that?” he said.

The newcomers were inaugurated into the neighborhood with a brief lesson about the presence of crocodiles. Local residents, like neighbor Sally Horsfall Eaton, are used to seeing them and know how to watch for their tracks emerging from the ocean.

Eaton said at first, neighbors wanted to crocodiles to stay away from their property. Now, she watches one she calls Dutchess come by ever year. The crocodile isn’t looking for trouble and in general, they’re are quite shy.

“Dutchess comes every year now and lays her eggs in that sandy spot just beyond the gravel every year. Now everybody that’s been here a while protects Dutchess. They’re very defensive. They don’t want her or her offspring. We have three of them now on the property… We approach her. If she up on the beach, she’ll head out to the ocean. She’s very skiddish.”

That’s just part of living in the Florida Keys, where the crocodile is “just part of our whole wildlife picture,” said neighbor John Liautaud.

[Photo by underworld/Shutterstock]

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