PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – A rare American crocodile that’s believed to be around 70 years old was recently found catching some rays while lounging on a Florida woman’s floating dock, according to The Daily Sun.
The newspaper reports that Mona Vieregg initially thought it was a large alligator lurking in the canal behind her Punta Gorda home and it wasn’t until the reptile emerged from the water that she realized it was actually a 10-15 foot croc, which she decided to name George.
Officers from the Punta Gorda Police Department arrived, snapped a few pictures and called in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to handle the rest but because American crocodiles are considered a threatened species, George can’t be trapped until permission is received from the federal government.
The trapper said the crocodile was likely about 70 years old and the biggest he’d ever seen. He believed that it would return to Vieregg’s floating dock since it was one of the only ones in the neighborhood, the incident report said.
According to FWC, American crocodiles are a “shy and reclusive species” that call the brackish and saltwater ponds, coves and creeks in South Florida their home.