Crikey: Crocodile escapes habitat at Central Florida Zoo

Reptile was in contained area away from guests

SANFORD, Fla. – An American crocodile that escaped its habitat Friday afternoon at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens has since been captured, zoo officials said.

The breach happened at about 2:30 p.m., but the cause of the incident is still under investigation. Marley the crocodile is 51 years old, nearly 13 feet long and has been at the zoo since 1983.

Officials said the zoo's Herpetarium was cleared of guests while zoo staff assessed the habitat and returned the reptile to its home. The crocodile was in a contained area away from public pathways, meaning no guests were in danger, according to a news release.

"Our staff acted swiftly and followed all protocol to secure the animal in a safe manner," zoo CEO Dino Ferri said. "We practice for these types of situations throughout the year, so our team is prepared to respond accordingly."