Delegates attending next years Winter Music Conference in Miami might have to on extra guard against alligators and crocodiles after three women were killed in separate incidents in Florida in the last week.
The unprecedented frequency of fatal attacks prompted Florida officials to warn people to avoid swimming in heavily vegetated areas or walking near the water, particularly at dusk and dawn when gators are most active.
'As the weather heats up, the alligators' metabolism increases and they have to eat more,'' Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman
Willie Puz told The Associated Press on Sunday. They might be moving more, but that just shouldn't mean increased alligator attacks.
The bottom line is, the trend is increasing, he added.
NBC reported that there are have 395 alligator attacks in the area since 1976, 12 of which have been fatal, far more than the fatality rate for shark attacks in Florida (8 people have been killed by sharks since 1948). And while there are an estimated 1.5 million alligators in the State, locals should also watch out for crocodiles, which unlike alligators can swim in the ocean, the Christian Science Monitor reported in 2002 after crocs were spotted cruising off the beach at Boca Raton.
Recalling how it has been many, many years since Floridians have seen crocodiles lined up like logs on Miami Beach, the paper said up to a 1,000 ocean going reptiles live in the area with greater possibility of crocodile-human encounters than for many years.
"Both alligators and crocodiles are dangerous animals," said marine biologist. Joe Wasilewski. "But American crocodiles are very shy and non-aggressive.
http://home.cfl.rr.com/gatorhole (The longest recorded length for an alligator is 19' 2'. This animal was trapped in the early 1900's in the State of Louisiana. Most wild alligators do not get above 13 feet in length, and may weigh 600 pounds or more . . .)
Jonty Skrufff (JontySkrufff.com)