MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Wildlife trappers planned to search again Tuesday night in the canals of a Coral Gables neighborhood for a pair of crocodiles.
Over the weekend, one of the crocs bit a man and woman who went for a late night swim.
Alejandro Jimenez,26, of Doral, is in good condition at South Miami Hospital after being bitten in the hands and torso. Lisset Rendon, 23, of Miami, was treated at the hospital and released after
being bitten in the back and shoulder area, authorities said.
Monday evening trappers managed to hook one of the crocs, which they estimated to be about 11 feet in length, but it managed to get away.
“Obviously we are protectors of Florida’s natural resources but we protect Florida’s residents first and we want to make sure we remove these crocodiles from this area,” said Jorge Pino with the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
A CBS4 viewer released new video that he shot two weeks ago that showed how one crocodile showed no apparent fear of humans. The video shows the crocodile swimming right up to a toy in the water off his deck.
Some neighbors in the Gables by the Sea community won’t be sad to see the crocs gone.
“They should be relocated. Even if they have to come back as often as needed. Because there are people, small children, kids in this neighborhood,” said Walter Lista.
Those who live in the area say the big reptiles are not afraid of humans. Some, however, say they crocs are just being crocs and they should be left alone.
Elizabeth Bustin said people are to blame for the attack, not the croc.
“If you go swimming at 2:30 in the morning you could have very easily gotten bit by a shark too. Would we then try to relocate the shark?” asked Bustin.
“Crocs over here,” said Oscar Anzola pointing to a canal near his home, “It’s been a way of life for us over the past 10 years.”
Anzola put up fencing to protect his family and their pet beagle. He said he’s learned that as inviting as the water may look, they are not friendly to two or four legged species.
“In the beginning we went in the canal swimming but after we saw that first croc there, many years ago, we never went again,” said Anzola.
Pino said the trappers will continue to hunt for the crocs until they are caught. They will then be taken to a wildlife sanctuary.
“We are looking for two crocodiles,” Pino told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “We are going to return to the canals at sunset when there is more opportunity to be productive in our search for them.”
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