Scientists in Florida have come up with a strange way to stop crocodiles from crawling into cities and towns.
Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is testing a program to strap magnets onto the heads of crocodiles that wander into developed areas, saying the magnet could “break the homing cycle” and prevent them from returning.
When a crocodile is captured, wildlife officials place a magnet on the side of its head, which supposedly disorients the animal. Before releasing it, they remove the magnet and tag the tail for later identification. Officials have already tried the procedure on three crocodiles, but it’s too soon to tell if it worked.
The scientists got the idea from similar programs in Mexico that have reported success. Crocodiles are known to travel over 10 miles a day to return back to their home habitat — even if the location they were delivered is much more suitable to their survival.
The process hopes to keep more crocodiles in the wild; typically, if the animals return to a developed area more than three times, they’re moved to captivity. Only 2,000 wild crocodiles remain in South Florida, but they’re on the upswing. They were moved from endangered to threatened by the US Fish & Wildlife Service in 2007.Via: Freep Photo Credit: bullfrogphoto on Flickr under Creative Commons license.