Rare crocodile run over, killed in the Florida Keys
KEY LARGO, Fla. – An American crocodile killed in pre-dawn traffic in the Florida Keys may have been looking for a nest.
The Miami Herald reports the female croc was run over by a tractor-trailer last week.
The driver told the Florida Highway Patrol that he couldn't avoid the 8-foot-long reptile when it walked into the path of the truck.
American crocodiles nearly became extinct by the mid-1970s when only a handful of breeding females -- all in the Keys -- were known to exist.
Habitat conservation on North Key Largo and the Everglades, along with endangered-species protection, helped the crocodile population recover to current estimates of about 2,000 adults. In 2007, the American crocodile's protected status was changed to "threatened."
Copyright 2017 by WKMG ClickOrlando. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.