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‘Croczilla’ surfaces in Florida, allowing for bucket

Mar 24, 2024

A Florida photographer has been sharing jaw-dropping footage of a 14-foot American crocodile nicknamed “Croczilla” because of its size and menacing appearance.

Kymberly Clark encountered the colossal beast recently in Everglades National Park. She states via Instagram that ‘Croczilla’ is believed to be the largest American crocodile in the 1.5-million-acre park.

Crocodiles are shy and reclusive and reside mostly in brackish or saltwater ponds, creeks and mangrove swamps, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

But Clark’s posts show ‘Croczilla’ sunning on a grassy bank, opening and closing its massive jaws and revealing enormous teeth.

“Although Crocs are native to America, this estimated 14-foot+ Crocodile is about the largest Croc found in the wild,” Clark states in her initial post. “In comparison to alligators, crocodiles have a more narrow snout, are lighter in color, and both upper and lower sets of teeth can be seen.”

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Clark adds: “Although this crocodile looks fierce, the American Crocodiles are very timid. The open mouth is not a sign of aggression but usually a way of regulating body temperature or a yawn. That being said, always keep a safe distance from crocodiles and other wildlife.”

Subsequent posts show Croczilla in various poses on the same bank. One reveals “That ‘I survived Monday’ look!” A video post shows Clark superimposed in the footage with the description: “When I saw this guy, I am not sure who opened their mouth wider. Croczilla or me?”

Another post, put to horror music, shows Croczilla stretched in the sun, revealing its size. Yet another post shows kayakers admiring Croczilla under the description: “Only in Florida.”

According to the FWC, the American Crocodile was listed as an endangered species in 1975. Their numbers have since increased from a few hundred animals to about 2,000 individuals.

The Florida population of American crocodiles is currently listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The FWC states in a website publication: “ Due to the American crocodile’s shy and reclusive nature, conflicts between them and people are extremely rare in Florida. However, as with any predatory animal, people should use caution when near them.”

–Image courtesy of Kymberly Clark

Story originally appeared on For The Win