By Claudia Aoraha, Senior Reporter For Dailymail.Com
06:46 12 Jun 2023, updated 08:56 12 Jun 2023
- The black 10-foot creature could be seen in the blue-illuminated pool in Florida, kicking its body around in circles
- Crocodiles are a threatened species in Florida, and endangered everywhere else in the United States
An enormous American crocodile was spotted swimming in a pool in Florida – as the apex predator hissed at the two experts trying to remove and relocate it to its habitat.
The 10ft beast found itself in someone’s backyard swimming pool – and started thrashing around, making waves, before being hauled out of the water by a brave trapper in the early hours of the morning.
Expert wildlife trapper Todd Hardwick first tried to drag the crocodile out of the water on the far end, but with no luck. ‘We now have a slippery pool deck here,’ he said, after the splashes caused a mess across the tiles.
Meanwhile, the black 10-foot creature could be seen in the blue-illuminated pool kicking its body around in circles.
The experts, including assistant trapper Jeff Peterla, then tried to haul it out by its head again – and finally got it out of the water on June 11.
But the croc then continued to flip over again and again on its back while being tied up by the mouth with the expert’s rope.
One of the men then get on to the crocodile’s back, stabilizing him so he couldn’t move around any more.
They both agreed that the animal was bigger than they had anticipated.
The crocodile, once taken to a safe place with help from a Monroe County Officer, was seen shuffling into the water and going on its way.
Posting on Instagram, Pesky Critters wrote: ‘CRIKEY! That’s a CROCODILE!
‘At 2am Sunday, June 11, 2023 wildlife officials received a call from a homeowner in Plantation Key at Mile Marker 90 about a MASSIVE 10ft American crocodile in their pool.
‘Pesky Critters Wildlife Control trappers were dispatched to fulfill their role as FWC Crocodile Agents.
‘Expert wildlife trapper Todd Hardwick quickly secured the crocodile, even after it’s massive splashes created a slick and dangerous footing situation on the pool deck.
‘He and assistant trapper Jeff Peterla heaved it onto the deck where a Monroe county officer ( MCSO – Florida Keys ) then assisted them with moving it to a safe location for release.
‘Footage shows Todd Hardwick removing it’s restraints once relocated and gently but safely encouraging it back into it’s habitat.
‘Crocodiles are a threatened species in Florida, and endangered everywhere else in the United States.’
The American crocodile is protected as a threatened species by the Federal Endangered Species Act – and as a Federally-designated threatened species by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule.
They are most common in the US around south Florida’s coastlines, but are greatly outnumbered by alligators in the Sunshine State. They live in brackish or saltwater areas, and can be found in ponds, coves, and creeks in mangrove swamps.
Crocodiles also splash around in water if they are frightened – meaning that the movements of the croc in the Florida pool show it was in distress.
American crocodiles are known as one of the most docile croc species and try to avoid contact with humans where possible. Their Nile and saltwater cousins – found in Africa and Australia respectively – are far more aggressive.
Alligators kill about one person per year in the United States. Crocodiles, however, kill roughly 1,000 people per year in Africa alone.