Reported by: Glenn Glazer
Florida wildlife officers are experimenting with a new method of removing troublesome crocodiles from inhabited areas.
"When you have a situation like people and crocodiles living next to each other, it can create some tense moments," said David Hitzig, Executive Director of the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary.
Tense is right, especially because crocodiles have a reputation for being bad.
They truth is, they tend to be on the timid side.
"There's never been a case of anyone being attacked or killed by an American Crocodile," said Hitzig.
Not only that, but there aren't that many crocodiles to begin with, only about a thousand in Florida.
"They are endangered so we are doing everything we can to protect them," said Gabriella Ferraro, Public Information Coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Unlike gators which number in the millions and are destroyed when captured, crocodiles are simply relocated, but that is a difficult task for Florida Fish and Wildlife.
"They instinctively will travel miles, and miles, and miles, sometimes ten miles a week, to return to that capture site," said Ferraro.
Adopted from other tropical locations, a new technique using magnets is being tried on the crocs, and so far, it seems to be working.
Crocodiles have a built-in magnetic GPS system in their brains, and putting magnets on that system, scrambles it.
When wildlife officers move the crocodile, it won't be able to find its way back to the place where it may have been causing trouble.
So far there is no evidence that this approach harms the crocodiles in any way.
It simply allows them to start a new life in a new safer location.
Copyright 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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