NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - Residents are expressing their concerns after crocodiles were captured in photos and on video in their North Miami neighborhood.
Those living in the Coral Towers Condominium, along the 1500 block of Northeast 127th Street, said they have seen the crocodile multiple times.
“I actually look down from my apartment, and I saw the mouth open in the water,” neighbor Kristen Rodonis said. “I said, ‘There’s no way. I’m hallucinating.'”
Rodonis said her encounter was from two weeks ago, but Thursday morning, neighbors yelled at her to get back from the canal because they saw the reptile again.
“Laying right there,” neighbor Carlos Figueroa said to 7News cameras. “To me, about my estimate, it’s close to 6 feet. I have seen this particular one about three times already, but I’ve also seen a smaller one. There’s plenty of kids here.”
Figueroa added that he has seen the reptiles in the water or sunning on a concrete slab behind the building.
Photos and video were shared by neighbors, who said they have seen at least a half dozen in the water or on land. Wildlife experts have identified them as crocodiles.
Wildlife trapper Gary Wilcox has experience catching alligators, snakes and bees across South Florida. 7News showed him the footage the neighbors took, including a photo of what appears to be an orange tag attached to one of the crocodile’s tails.
“It’s an American crocodile,” Wilcox said. “This tag says to me this animal has been trapped before. He’s been relocated, and somehow, it’s made its way here.”
Wilcox added that crocodiles are shy and are likely to move away at the sight of humans. Regardless, he recommends not to feed the reptiles or allow children or pets to get close.
“I wouldn’t be encouraging children to go to the edge of the water at all,” Wilcox said. “If there’s six to eight crocodiles, there’s a very good possibility the FWC is going to have trappers out here.”
Rodonis said she holds her daughter Savannah tight, but she is worried about her 12-year-old son when he takes out the trash.
“Yeah, it’s kinda scary,” Rodonis said. “Actually, it’s a lot scary.”
Despite calls to the city and state wildlife officials, neighbors said they cannot get someone to help out with the crocodiles.
“I’d like something to be done about it,” Rodonis said. “I mean, I know they’ve called plenty of times, and no one’s come out. I think it’s a very serious matter.”
“It might be their natural habitat,” Figueroa said. “We built on it, so we got to take care of them. These animals can’t be around here.”
7News reached out to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and they asked to send photos and videos of the reptiles. 7News complied, but we have yet to hear back.
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