2 individuals OK after crocodile attack in canal - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

2 individuals OK after crocodile attack in canal

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Crocodile attack victim Alejandro Jimenez. Crocodile attack victim Alejandro Jimenez.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (WSVN) -- A man and a woman are said to be OK after they jumped into a canal in a residential neighborhood and were attacked by a crocodile, early Sunday morning.

Officials said the incident occurred at the end of a house party along the 1300 block of Lugo Avenue in Gables by the Sea. They said, sometime between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., guests Alejandro Jimenez and Lisset Rendon young man and woman decided to take a late night swim in the canal, and that's when they were attacked by a crocodile.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials responded to the scene. "There were two individuals that decided that they wanted to jump in the water," said FWC spokesperson Jorge Pino. "They did. Our understanding is they were jumping in and out of the water. Perhaps that attracted the attention of the crocodile. One crocodile came up and bit the female in the shoulder. She managed to get away and swim to the dock. The male that was also swimming also suffered some injuries or bites to his hands, but he also managed to make it to dock safely."

The two victims made it out safely with help from other people at the party. They were transported to and treated at South Miami Hospital, where Rendon was later released. Jimenez's sister told 7News her brother remains at the hospital recovering from the bites and other small cuts.

Officials said residents in the area know there are crocodiles in the water and have never had anything like this happen before. "We've seen at least two in 10 years," said resident Eric Bellon.

Officials add that the two victims were visiting, and maybe that is why they were not aware of the crocodiles in the canal. However, there are warning signs about the reptiles just a few houses down. "It's an area that is well known for having crocodiles swim in the local canal," said Pino.

Rosa Quesada, who lives in the area said, "I wouldn't go in that water for nothing."

Most residents said they have seen crocodiles at least once. Resident Fred Santiago shot a video of a crocodile feeding in his backyard. "The crocodiles started coming in after Hurricane Andrew," he said. "That's the first time I saw one across the canal there, sunning, and they have been there ever since."

FWC is trying to relocate the crocodile to put it elsewhere and give residents a peace of mind. Officials are also handing out flyers warning people about the crocodiles and that if they see anything, they can call the FWC.

Pino said, "Don't go into a body of water that you are not familiar with. Certainty don't do it between dawn and dusk when they are more prevalent to be out there looking for food."

Santiago said, "They have a right to be here, but now it's getting to a point where they are getting a little too big and too dangerous, and they need to be removed."


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