NANFA-L-- crock attack

Mike Austin (
Thu, 5 Jan 2006 04:11:35 -0800 (PST)

The Center for North American Herpetology
Lawrence, Kansas
3 January 2006

Crocodile Killed by Group of Men

December 18th, 2005

KEY LARGO, FloridabAuthorities are searching for a group of men they
lassoed a
crocodile and dragged it to its death.

Two weeks ago, in an area just off U.S. 1 near the Monroe County line,
crocodile named
Charlie was tortured and killed by a group of men.

It was absolutely sickening, said Elaine Doherty, a neighbor. That croc
never hurt a soul.
His habitat was right over here. Ibve known him for six years. We all
referred to him as
Charlie. Charlie was basking on a sunny embankment in the late
afternoon on
Dec. 3 when
some men slipped a noose around his neck. At first, they started to
the animal with
their bare hands, but I guess that wasnbt fun enough for them, Fish &
Wildlife Spokesman
Jorge Pino said.

I saw them drag him all the way down there, and he was tied to the back
a green
Hummer, Doherty said. A horrified observer took pictures of the men
attacking the animal,
and another neighbor called 911 and led wildlife officers to one
Pedro Guerra
Morales, of Miami. He advised me through an interpreter that he
speak English and
he had nothing to do with the crocodile, arresting Officer Bobby Bube

However, wildlife officials said that pictures taken to one-hour
showed Guerra
Morales with the crocodile. I even showed him in the picture that he
standing there
holding a rope around the crocodilebs neck and he still denied it,

Some other suspects got away in a boat before officers arrived, but
authorities hope the
witnessbs pictures will help them track the men down. They would be
with killing
an endangered species, a third-degree felony in Florida that carries a
sentence of up to
five years in prison.

There are only 800 to 1,000 crocodiles in the United States,
in Floridabs
southern tip. They are shy and retiring animals.

There has not been one documented crocodile attack in the state of
that we have
heard of, Pino said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers-in-

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