NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A large crocodile came too close for comfort for a second time in a Northeast Miami-Dade neighborhood, causing concern among residents.
Lauren Maughan described the unsettling moment she realized the massive reptile was in her backyard, Monday.
“You can hear him hissing at me, toward the end of the video,” she said as she showed cellphone video of the animal to a 7News crew.
The wild encounter near Northeast 25th Court and 214th Street has put this Aventura-adjacent lakeside community on edge.
Maughan said the sighting has taken away her sense of security.
“I have a 5-year-old that plays in the backyard,” she said. “She has a dog. I have two small, little dogs.”
Unfortunately, neighbors along the lake know the crocodile as a repeat visitor.
Patricia Jesurum called 7News last week after she spotted the sharp-toothed trespasser on her property.
“I’m scared, and I think that [Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission] should do something about it,” she said.
Jesurum said she worries someone could get hurt, but after she called FWC, she was told the animal is in its natural habitat.
“If I wanted to live in a natural habitat, I would go to the Everglades,” she said. “Natural habitat? Amongst children, amongst houses, amongst dogs, pets, cats? What is that? Is that food?”
After the original story aired, an FWC spokesperson responded with a statement that read in part, “We take public safety very seriously and administer programs designed to be proactive and responsive. Whenever someone is concerned about a crocodile, they should call 866-392-4286 (866-FWC-GATOR) immediately, and one of our highly responsive crocodile agents will respond.”
Jesurum called again Monday, but she said she didn’t make much progress. Now she’s crossing her fingers that one day she won’t have to dial 911.
“It’s dangerous. It’s a dangerous species,” she said. “It’s not gonna settle for just basking and sunbathing in the sun, and one day there’s going to be a catastrophe, and then what?”
As of late Monday night, Jesurum was still waiting for a response from FWC.
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