A wildlife photographer finally caught the Everglades’ “crozilla” on camera after months of hunting.
When she came face to face with the beast, she realized how “small and helpless” she was in comparison.
Alligators are rare in Florida, and “Crozilla” is thought to be the largest in the state.
Wildlife photographer Kimberly Clark He had been hunting the Everglades’ famous “croczilla” — said to be the largest alligator in the park — for months without success.
She has heard stories from park staff that the giant beast sometimes lurks near Nine Mile Pond, a few miles from the southern tip of Florida.
“I wasn’t disappointed, but after so many visits without seeing Crozilla, my expectations were low,” Clarke told Insider.
Clark visited the park on Sunday and once again looked for crozilla among the lush green ponds under the Florida sun.
After finding nothing, she turned to leave, saying, “I lost.”
But just as she was driving, she saw her huge booty.
“I passed the last kayak towing truck and there it was!” She said. “Crozilla was immediately in front of me, basking in the sun, mouth open to regulate his body temperature.”
She said she was so excited to see the giant crocodile that she jumped out of her car without turning it off or locking the door.
“I realized how small and powerless I was in comparison when I stood next to the giant Crozilla,” Clark said, adding that she was at least 20 feet away from the creature, as crocodiles can get as close as six feet from rest. position.
“When I stood in front of him, I was shocked to see the length of Croxilla and the size of his head,” Clark said. Zooming in, her lens could see some of Croczilla’s decayed teeth behind the pearly whites.
So what makes Croczilla so special? Unlike your run-of-the-mill Florida alligator, alligators are rare in the region—once classified as endangered, they are now considered a threatened species. According to the National Park Service.
And then, there’s the sheer size of Croczilla.
“A 14-foot American alligator is as big as anyone has seen in the wild. Crocozilla may be the largest wild alligator in Florida,” Clark said.
Alligators can grow up to 20 feet in captivity but no more than 14 feet in the wild, according to the National Park Service.
“Looking back at all the times I tried, I have no regrets about not finding this giant alligator,” Clark said. “In fact, I continue to look for Crozilla on every trip I make to Everglades National Park.”
Clark was no stranger to strange creatures. She once saw an 18-foot-long Burmese python “full of eggs” and an “unidentifiable” pine snake.
“I love the thrill of the hunt and the unexpected surprises,” Clark said.
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