FWC News Release
Contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) asks residents of the Florida Keys, particularly in Lower Matecumbe, Islamorada, to leave American crocodiles alone. With increasing numbers of crocodiles in areas where people live, the Keys are experiencing a growing number of crocodile-related complaints.

The FWC reminds residents that feeding and harassing crocodiles is dangerous and illegal. When fed, crocodiles may overcome their natural wariness and learn to associate people with food. At marinas and boat ramps, dispose of fish scraps and carcasses in garbage cans. Do not throw them in the water. The result can be the same as intentionally feeding crocodiles. Inform others that feeding crocodiles is illegal and can create a problem for people who use the water for recreational purposes.

American crocodiles are generally shy and reclusive. They live in coastal areas of South Florida and throughout the Keys. American crocodiles are listed as an endangered species in Florida and a threatened species under federal laws. If you observe someone harassing or feeding crocodiles, report the activity immediately to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. Report nuisance crocodiles to the FWC's Statewide Nuisance Alligator Hotline: 1-866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).