Crocodilians Natural History & Conservation

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Crocodile Eats Golfer?



There's a story circulating the internet about an American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) called "Old Mose" which ate a golfer on a hotel golf course in Palm Beach, Florida. This story has been passed around via email, and a gruesome picture attached clearly showing a human arm being pulled from the stomach of a very large crocodile. I've been sent this story and the attached photograph innumerable times.

This story is a hoax!

There has never been a fatality from an American crocodile in Florida. The species only numbers a few hundred in this state, being found primarily in Central and South America, and has never even been sighted in the vicinity of the golf course featured in the story. The Breaker's Hotel and the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission has been receiving a considerable number of concerned phone calls from holiday makers worried about the story, and have been trying to allay their fears.

The photograph is real. The species depicted is a saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, and the photograph was taken in Kalimantan in 1997. The crocodile is very large, in the range of 17 to 18 feet in length, but nothing else is known about the incident, nor the person who took the photograph.

Nobody knows who created the hoax about Old Mose.

Please do not contact the hotel, the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, or myself about this story. There is no further information available.

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