It happened again.
There was yet another sighting of a crocodile, this time in Key Biscayne.
On Sunday, the runner, Elliott Mason, posted a closeup view of a medium sized crocodile casually resting on the beach in front of the Key Biscayne Beach Club, off the coast of downtown Miami.
It’s unclear if it the same one. But this one is “definitely” a crocodile, Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill tells the Miami Herald. The telltale signs are its grayish, green color and narrow, tapered snout.
A friend sent Mason the picture after all the attention his last video received.
Also on Sunday, Instagram page Lifestyle Miami shared a video of the same reptile tootling around the shallow water.
“A closer look at another croc in @keybiscayne beach today. They are starting to pop up a lot more often now,” read the caption. “When this one was filmed earlier, there was a baby one around too. Someone was trying to catch the baby. Don’t try and catch the babies, please.”
In that clip, you can hear voices off camera. A child screams, “He’s coming close!”
As of Monday morning, that post had received more than 40,000 views, with many commenters distressed by the unwanted visitor.
“Das it. I’m never going to da beach again.”
“Crocs, alligators or whatever species are a real danger. Now you cannot even enjoy a day in the beach.”
“Time to move. City turning into whack.”
“Just another reason not to get in the water.”
Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrived on the scene, but could not locate the reptile, spokesman Ronald Washington told the Miami Herald.
“We take public safety very seriously and administer a program designed to be proactive and responsive,” he said, adding that if you see a croc or gator to call 866-392-4286 (866-FWC-GATOR).
“A site visit may be done to evaluate the crocodile’s behavior to determine an appropriate course of action,” Washington said. “Depending on the crocodile’s size, behavior, and situation the animal might be captured and relocated.”
According to the FWC, the American crocodile, once named federally as an endangered species, have been listed as threatened since 2007.
They can be found in brackish or saltwater areas, including ponds, coves, mangrove swamps and coastal lagoons, where they feed on small mammals, birds, fish and crustaceans.
Most live in Everglades National Park, Florida Bay and Biscayne Bay, and along FPL’s Turkey Point Power Plant’s cooling canals in southern Miami Dade County.
Is it unusual to see crocs at the beach, swimming among fun-seekers and tourists?
Not at all, says animal expert Magill.
“Their numbers are increasing and they are spreading out,” he says. “They can be territorial and are going to be looking for new places to live as they are pushed out of territories occupied by more dominant animals.”
This croc seen chilling on the beach on Sunday was likely looking to get some rays.
“They have to come on land to bask in the sun to recharge their batteries as they are cold-blooded animals and depend on the sun’s rays for heat,” says Magill. “So, if a crocodile is spotted in an area in the water, you can bet that eventually it is going to find an area on land close by to bask.”
If you see one, try not to panic, just keep a respectful distance, he adds.
“This is not something to worry about as the animal is simply coming on land to thermo-regulate and has no interest in humans.”
Having said that, Magill advises not to let your pets wander off leash as they could easily be seen as food and if they wander close enough to a croc, could easily be snatched.