In Satellite Beach, a surge of new cautionary signs alerting residents about crocodile presence is unfolding in response to an ongoing investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Reports emerged suggesting that a small dog may have been seized by a crocodile, prompting increased vigilance in the area, as reported by Florida Today.
Despite diligent searching, the remains of the small pug have yet to be located. It remains uncertain if the state agency has engaged in discussions with the dog owner regarding the incident.
A disturbing video captured by a local drone operator depicted a crocodile navigating a murky canal in Satellite Beach while gripping an unresponsive pug in its jaws. FWC officials communicated with the Satellite Beach Police Department to coordinate the installation of new signs near kayaking zones and along the canals. This initiative aims to raise awareness among residents and visitors, noted Kara Howard, administrative assistant with Satellite Beach.
Although the incident was initially reported to Satellite Beach police, it occurred within Brevard County's jurisdiction.
The region already boasts an array of wildlife, including turtles wandering through yards, alligators lurking in the canal waters, and manatees playfully congregating along the canals. In recent months, American crocodile sightings have increased. According to FWC, there are an estimated 1,000 to 2,500 crocodiles dwelling along the lower coastal area of Florida, in contrast to an estimated 1.5 million alligators found in waterways, canals, and rivers throughout the state.
Consequently, some residents are voicing concerns about these federally protected long-snouted reptiles sharing their waters. Jon Appling, a resident along the Grand Canal since February, reported contacting FWC upon learning of the attack. He observed a crocodile swimming in the canal while boating but didn't pay much attention.
Later, Appling's neighbor used a drone to capture real-time footage of the crocodile with the small dog in its mouth. Despite contacting FWC, he was informed that there was little action to be taken due to the crocodile's protected status.
FWC emphasized that crocodiles are generally reclusive and timid, highlighting the rarity of conflicts between these creatures and humans in Florida.
Appling, originally from North Carolina, confessed he hasn't spotted the warning signs appearing along parts of the canal. While personally unconcerned, he acknowledged the potential risks and expressed confidence in his ability to protect his loved ones, stating, "I'm not personally worried about it. Am I concerned about it getting one of my grandbabies or my puppy? No. Because I'll be there."