Man rescued after receiving apparent crocodile bite in the Everglades

CNNA man trying to swim to shore after his recreational sailboat capsized at Everglades National Park suffered an apparent bite from an American crocodile, according to a National Park Service news release.

Rangers responded around 4:43 p.m. Sunday to a report that the man was observed going under water at Flamingo Marina, located in southern part of the park near the open water of the Florida Straits.

They were able to pull a 68-year-man out and treat a laceration on one of his legs, the release said.

The rangers worked with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to transport the patient to a hospital, and the patient was reported stable upon transfer to EMS providers, the release said.

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

American crocodiles vs. alligators


The American crocodile is a federally threatened species, the NPS said, and it resembles the American alligator. But they are different species in very different situations.

There are only about 2,000 adult crocodiles in the mainland United States, living exclusively in a narrow range along the coastlines of central and southern Florida, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (American crocodiles can also be found in some coastal areas of Caribbean islands, Mexico and South America.)

Meanwhile, an estimated 5 million wild American alligators are spread out across 10 states in Southeast and beyond, including parts of North Carolina and even the extreme southeastern tip of Oklahoma.

American crocodiles are considered a shy and reclusive species, the FFWCC says, and crocodile attacks on humans in Florida are very rare.

Worldwide is a different matter – about 1,000 deaths a year are attributed to crocodile attacks in places such as Africa, mainland Asia, Indonesia and Australia.