DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK, Fla — A crocodile that mysteriously appeared in the remote islands of Florida’s Dry Tortugas National Park 14 years ago has been relocated to the Everglades after getting too friendly with food-bearing visitors.
The Miami Herald reports park staff and Florida wildlife officials lassoed the American crocodile named Cleatus, taped its mouth shut and loaded it into a sea plane Sunday. Cleatus was released Monday in Everglades National Park.
Tortugas park manager Glenn Simpson said they took the safety of tourists and the health of the croc into consideration before moving it.
Officials were puzzled when Cleatus appeared on the Dry Tortugas, 70 miles (112.65 kilometers) west of Key West. Simpson says he’s sad to see Cleatus leave, but the coral reef was an odd home for the crocodile.