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Sarasota County homeowners shocked to find a rare crocodile in their front yard

Living with alligators is something most Floridians are used to, whether it’s encountering one on the golf course or finding one cooling off in your swimming pool during mating season.

But a crocodile?

Crikey.

That was the case for Sarasota homeowners when a rare American crocodile showed up in their front yard.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office’s Animal Services responded and captured the reptile, which was turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission unharmed for relocation.

It can be somewhat difficult to distinguish the difference between an alligator and a crocodile to the untrained eye. Crocodiles have a narrow tapered snout compared to the alligator’s more rounded snout. Crocodiles often are more grayish-green in color while alligators are darker.

Crocodiles do call a good portion of South Florida home, but tend to be more reclusive than alligators.

Crocodiles in Florida were relentlessly hunted from the 1930s through the 1960s for their expensive hides but are federally protected now.

Due to their reclusive nature, it has been difficult to determine the number of crocodiles in Florida, but it is estimated to be somewhere between 500 and 1,200.

Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.
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