FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Burmese python might have to step aside: It's possible the animal is no longer Florida's scariest invasive species. Researchers have confirmed that three Nile crocodiles were captured near Miami, and they more of the man-eating reptiles could still be out there, although no one can say for sure.
The University of Florida researchers' paper says it's likely the crocs were brought to Florida illegally. They could be bad news for the Everglades ecosystem.
The paper shows that DNA samples proved the animals captured in 2009, 2011 and 2014 are Nile crocs. The species is responsible for about 200 deaths annually in sub-Saharan Africa.
University herpetologist Kenneth Krysko said more Nile crocs may live in the Everglades. He says the captured trio were most likely brought to Florida by an unlicensed collector who let them escape or released them.