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To the surprise of biologists, a Virginia Key beach restored to lure sea turtles has become an incubator to some unlikely babies: rare American crocodiles.
Last month, the baby crocs hatched from the first nest ever documented on the urban island that links the city of Miami to Key Biscayne. After incubating for 84 days, a team from the University of Florida and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science helped tag 13 crocs on July 26.
In 2007, crocs were removed from the endangered species list and declared a rare success, due largely to efforts at three sanctuaries in Florida, the only state where they are found. Biologists think about 2,000 exist today, including a large population at the cooling canals at Turkey Point.
The appearance of the nest, Mazzotti said, is proof that restoring even small patches of native habitat can help struggling species.
“It underscores the ecological importance of urban refuges like that,” he said. “Right in the middle of urban Miami we have a little bit of nature that we really should strive to keep rather than pave over.”
ISLAMORADA, Fla. - A Florida man got a big surprise when he went outside his new multimillion-dollar mansion in the Florida Keys. There was a crocodile in the swimming pool.
He says the crocodile was just about eight feet long and looked to be just chilling in the pool.