MIAMI (AP) – American crocodiles, once headed toward extinction, are thriving at an unusual spot — the canals surrounding a South Florida nuclear plant.
Last week, 73 crocodile hatchlings were rescued by a team of specialists at Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point nuclear plant and dozens more are expected to emerge soon.
Turkey Point’s 168-mile (270 kilometers) of man-made canals serve as the home to several hundred crocodiles, where a team of specialists working for FPL monitors and protects them from hunting and climate change.
From January to April, FPL helps create nests and ponds on berms for crocodiles to nest. Once the hatchlings are reared and left by the mother, the team captures them. They are measured and tagged with microchips to observe their development. They are then relocated to increase survival rates.
Turkey Point has two 808-MW reactors operating close to a combined cycle gas turbine unit. Environmentalists have fought Florida Power & Light plans to keep and maybe even expand the nuclear capacity at the plant near Biscayne National Park.