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Who, or what, took a bite out of a nearly 400-pound crocodile at Zoo Miami?

Endangered crocodile undergoes procedure at Zoo Miami

A 10-foot long Orinoco crocodile has a surgical procedure at Zoo Miami on April 21, 2017.
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A 10-foot long Orinoco crocodile has a surgical procedure at Zoo Miami on April 21, 2017.

Something, probably another cranky crocodile, took a bite out of a nearly 10-foot crocodile at Zoo Miami.

Croc blood
Veterinarians and zoo staff surgically treat and remove infected material and medicate the wound on the left wrist of a 396-pound, 13-year-old male Orinoco crocodile at Zoo Miami’s hospital on April 21, 2017. Zoo Miami

And so the 13-year-old male Orinoco crocodile was whisked from its “Amazon and Beyond” exhibit at the zoo to an operating table at Zoo Hospital. There, on Friday, a team of zoo staff and veterinarians, led by Dr. Doug Mader, director of the Marathon Veterinary Hospital in the Florida Keys, treated the infected wound on the reptile’s left-front wrist.

Croc wrist
Dr. Doug Mader (right) reveals the site of injury on a 396-pound reptile at Zoo Miami. Zoo Miami

The 396-pound patient was recovering in the hospital and is expected to remain for a few days of healing before returning to its exhibit.

“The crocodile received several X-rays as well as blood tests as part of an overall exam before the affected area was successfully treated surgically by removing the infected material and medicating the wound,” Ron Magill, communications director, said in a release.

Croc xray
An x-ray of the injured left front wrist of a 13-year-old male Orinoco crocodile that was possibly injured by a fellow croc at Zoo Miami. The wound was debrided and medicated and treated by zoo staff and veterinarians. Zoo Miami

Orinoco crocodiles are a critically endangered species found in fresh-water tributaries of the Orinoco River in Colombia and Venezuela, the zoo said. They are the largest predators in South America and can grow to about 15-feet long and usually feast on fish, birds and small mammals — when they aren’t snipping at one another.

Croc table above
Zoo Miami staff and vets treat a nearly 10-foot-long Orinoco crocodile at the zoo’s hospital after it was bitten on the left wrist by, probably, another croc. Zoo Miami

Howard Cohen: 305-376-3619, @HowardCohen

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