Old age or cold snap to blame for croc's death

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. (AP) - An American crocodile that lived on Sanibel Island for most of the last 30 years has died - either of old age or from the recent cold snap.

The almost 12-foot-long, over 300-pound female reptile was found dead a week ago on a trail along the Sanibel River.

But she'll still be able to greet visitors at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Biologist Tara Wertz said Wednesday the crocodile's skeleton will be displayed in the visitors center with a small memorial display.

Crocodiles can live up to 60 years, according to the National Parks Conservation Association.

This one was older than 30 and likely 50 to 60.

Professional naturalist Mark "Bird" Westail says she was the largest breeding female crocodile know of in the wild in Florida.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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