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Man Attacked by Crocodile While Trying to Swim to Shore After His Boat Capsized at Florida Park

“Rangers and park biologists are continuing to investigate the incident and monitor the suspected crocodile," officials said

<p>Getty</p> Stock photo of a crocodile

Getty

Stock photo of a crocodile
  • A man was trying to swim to shore after his sailboat capsized when the incident occurred

  • The victim was reportedly in stable condition as he was transferred to the hospital

  • "Rangers and park biologists are continuing to investigate the incident and monitor the suspected crocodile, which is easily identifiable," officials said

Florida authorities reported that a man was rushed to the hospital after an apparent crocodile attack in Everglades National Park over the weekend.

The National Park Service (NPS) in a news release said that around 4:45 p.m. local time on Sunday, park rangers responded to the Flamingo Marina following a report of a crocodile bite.

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A 68-year-old man capsized his sailboat in the marina basin and tried to swim to shore with the boat when he was seen “going under water,” according to the NPS.

The man was treated for a laceration in his leg, the NPS added.

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Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue told PEOPLE in an email Monday that the victim was airlifted to a medical facility. Authorities said that the victim was stable as he was transferred to EMS responders.

“Rangers and park biologists are continuing to investigate the incident and monitor the suspected crocodile, which is easily identifiable,” read the NPS news release.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the American crocodile is a federally threatened species. It is different from the alligator through its “grayish green color,” “narrowly tapered snout” and a “fourth tooth on the lower jaw exposed when [its] mouth is closed.”

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The FWC added that conflicts between crocodiles and humans are very rare in Florida because of the crocodiles’ shy and reclusive nature. The Miami Herald reported that crocodile attacks on humans are also infrequent because crocodiles are found in isolated areas such as the southern Everglades.

To ensure that both humans and crocodiles safely coexist, the commission recommends that people swim only in posted swimming areas and during daylight hours. It also advises that people do not feed crocodiles.

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In response to this particular incident in Everglades National Park, the NPS said in its statement: “While the park is a safe place to visit, we remind visitors to stay alert and exercise caution, especially around wildlife. Swimming or wading is prohibited in all canals, ponds, freshwater lakes, marked channels and boat basins in Everglades National Park.”

The NPS also said it is working with the FWC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assess the situation. 

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