Islamorada Mayor Wants Crocodiles Removed from Areas With People

Islamorado Mayor Michaell Reckwerdt said he's concerned about the safety of children and small pets and wants the reptiles removed

Friday, May 18, 2012  |  Updated 10:30 AM EDT
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One Florida mayor is looking for a way to oust crocodiles from populated areas in his city.

Michael Reckwerdt, mayor of Islamorada, said he’s concerned about the safety of children and pets and wants the state to remove large crocodiles from areas frequented by people, the Miami Herald reported.

“What’s it going to do to our tourism economy when another pet is killed or God forbid something else?” Reckwerdt said in an interview with the Herald.

“At what point do we do something about this?” he asked. “You look at areas where they’re plentiful - Australia, the Nile - they eat people.”

Reckwerdt, 45, said he grew up in Islamorada when there weren’t as many crocodiles around but now worries about the letting children swim in the canal.

In March, a large dog was killed by a crocodile in Key Largo and in April, a couple was scratched and bitten by the reptile as they were kayaking, the newspaper said.

Reckwerdt is planning on having crocodile experts attend the next Village Council meeting May 24 to discuss the possibilities of removing the large reptiles from certain areas.

Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, though, said that move is unlikely.

Spokesman Bobby Dube told the newspaper that previous attempts to remove crocodiles have failed as the reptiles instinctively make their way back.

American crocodiles, considered a “threatened" species, number close to 2,000 in Florida, the commission said.
 

To read more about crocodile attacks, click here and here.

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