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Longstreet Highroad Guide to the Florida Keys & Everglades

By Rick Ferren

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Florida Keys & Everglades > Sidebars > Crocodiles Find an Unlikely Home

Crocodiles Find an Unlikely Home

A nuclear power plant provides the American crocodile with an unusual, but protected and comfortable, habitat. The reptiles have been attracted to Florida Power and Light Company's Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant south of Miami near Homestead for more than 20 years. Chased away from their ancient habitats on Florida's sunny, sandy beaches, hundreds of crocodiles have found a home in man-made canals that are part of the plant's latticework of cooling ponds.

The warm water discharged from the plant is not radioactive and has no ill effects on the reptiles, which are contentedly breeding within sight of the giant cooling towers. Each year, biologists tag more than 100 newborn babies. It's a small, and hopeful sign, but still less than 10 percent of hatchlings reach maturity.

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Published (print): 1999, Published (Web): January 2003, ISBN: 1-56352-543-7
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