81ºF

American crocodiles thriving outside Florida nuclear plant

Reptiles call Miami canals home

Wildlife biologist/crocodile specialist Michael Lloret releases baby crocodiles back into the wild along the cooling canals next to the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station after having measured and tagged them with microchips to observe their development in the future, Friday, July 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. The 168-miles of man-made canals serve as the home to several hundred crocodiles, where a team of specialists working for Florida Power and Light (FPL) monitors and protects the American crocodiles. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wildlife biologist/crocodile specialist Michael Lloret releases baby crocodiles back into the wild along the cooling canals next to the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station after having measured and tagged them with microchips to observe their development in the future, Friday, July 19, 2019, in Homestead, Fla. The 168-miles of man-made canals serve as the home to several hundred crocodiles, where a team of specialists working for Florida Power and Light (FPL) monitors and protects the American crocodiles. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Associated Press)

MIAMI, Fla. – American crocodiles, once headed toward extinction, are thriving at an unusual spot -- the canals surrounding a South Florida nuclear plant.

Last week, 73 crocodile hatchlings were rescued by a team of specialists at Florida Power & Light's Turkey Point nuclear plant and dozens more are expected to emerge soon.

Turkey Point's 168-mile of man-made canals serve as the home to several hundred crocodiles, where a team of specialists working for FPL monitors and protects them from hunting and climate change.

From January to April, FPL helps create nests and ponds on berms for crocodiles to nest. Once the hatchlings are reared and left by the mother, the team captures them. They are measured and tagged with microchips to observe their development. They are then relocated to increase survival rates.