Legendary 14-foot crocodile dubbed 'Croczilla' spotted in Florida Everglades
FLORIDA EVERGLADES - A Florida woman on a mission to see what is believed to be the largest crocodile in Everglades National Park came face-to-face with the giant beast this week – and "Croczilla" did not disappoint.
Wildlife photographer Kymberly Clark had been looking for the famous 14-foot crocodile for months with no luck. She visited the park on Sunday in search of the legendary reptile, but after not finding anything, she told Insider she was "feeling defeated" and decided to leave.
As she was driving away, "Croczilla" appeared!
"I passed the last truck that was hauling kayaks and there it was!" she said, adding,"When I saw this guy, I am not sure who opened their mouth wider, Croczilla or me?"
In videos posted to Instagram, the massive animal is seen hanging out by the edge of the water, opening its gigantic mouth and showing off its razor-sharp teeth!
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"The open mouth is not a sign of aggression but usually a way of regulating body temperature or a yawn," Clark wrote. "That being said, always keep a safe distance from crocodiles and other wildlife."
Clark said that a crocodile doesn’t have the ability to stick its tongue out, as it is held in place by a membrane and is used to protect the airway when underwater.
"This Croc has been on my herping bucket list for a while now," she said. "So excited to have finally met him!"
According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, despite their intimidating appearance, American crocodiles are a shy and reclusive species. The American crocodile is protected as a Threatened species and it is illegal to hunt crocodiles in the U.S.; however, some hunting still occurs illegally, FWC said.