The American Crocodile is one of 18 species of crocodiles found in tropical wetlands of the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australia. They are the largest of living reptiles. Once hunted for their skin and flesh, the American Crocodile is now protected as a federal and state threatened species. Crocodiles are more wary of humans than are alligators, but both can be a potential threat to humans. Observing them should be done at a distance.
In crocodile or alligator habitats, pets should always be leashed and small children kept away from the water. Bending over to pick up trash at water’s edge can make a human appear to be the size of a dog – and these animals “love” dogs. Use long tongs from a standing position to pick up trash near water. Neither crocodiles nor alligators should be fed. Doing so may lessen their fear of humans.