Crocodile-human interactions have increased as the crocodile population has recovered. One technique to resolve these conflicts is translocation. This involves capturing the crocodile and moving it to suitable crocodile habitat as far away as possible, in an attempt to keep it away from an area. However, translocation is seldom effective. FWC biologists have found that translocated crocodiles will travel an average of 10 miles per week to return to their capture site, in a practice called “homing.” Others never make it because they are hit and killed by vehicles as they cross roads. Some may be killed by other crocodiles at the release site or during their journey back.
In an effort to break the “homing” cycle, FWC biologists have initiated a new study. Crocodile agents have been instructed to attach magnets to both sides of the crocodile’s head at the capture site. It is hoped the magnets will disorient the crocodiles and disrupt their navigation, so they can’t find their way back to the capture site. The magnets are removed from the crocodile’s head upon release. Agents will also secure a colored tag to the crocodile’s tail, so returning crocodiles can be identified later.
The reality is there is always some kind of toothy creature problem threatening the otherwise mundane lives of South Floridians – if it’s not the crocs, it’s the alligators, or snakes, or the sea trout (they are not actually a problem, unless you are low on flies). This is just one more example of the government not telling you like it is, as this intrepid reporter found out when he buzzed Flip Pallot for a statement:
No comment. But Gracie, you are a fine American.*
Something strange is afoot at the Circle K, and since fly fishers are the most grounded in the true nature of all things conspiratorial, I’m betting they smell a tourist trap. If you start seeing local fly guides advertising ‘Florida’s Ultimate Brownlining Adventure’ you’ll know they are working on a grant program.
Editor’s note: Half the quote from Flip Pallot was in fact taken from real life circumstances. While fishing Indian River, we bumped into him right after he’d been busted for speeding in a new Hell’s Bay skiff during a promotional shoot. Back at the takeout his trailer winch went on the fritz (guess it wasn’t his day), and we provided the tools to get ‘er back in business. Hence, we were deemed “fine Americans.”
And if that constitutes my fifteen minutes, I’m in deep trouble. Need. Better. Fishing. Stories!