Friday, August 07, 2009

Crocs on a plane

Oh no, I didn't just use that headline did I? It had to happen of course, someone released a crocodile on a commercial airliner. Passengers screamed as a huge crocodile scuttled down the aisle. Hold on a second, it was actually just a hatchling, less than a foot long. Hatchling crocodiles look more like geckos, so there's really not much of a story here other than the opportunity to riff on an old meme. Still, you'd be surprised at how often this happens, crocodiles escaping during flights that is. One of my colleagues told me a story of something similar several years ago, and in that case he was able to grab the crocodile as it wandered out from under his seat. Of course, the wider implications of this story are the prevalence of smuggling exotic wildlife - highly valuable contraband. They often say that nature will find a way. Well, when it comes to valuable resources, people will also find a way. Of course, you don't find people smuggling large adults on commercial flights - they don't fit so easily into your flight bag.

As you might imagine, nobody on either flight described above claimed their crocodile.

1 comment:

Wakefield Tolbert said...

That would be an event to remember, Dr. Britton!

On the other side of this coin, they (the croc clan) are all absurdly cute when young. And trying to nab one for a gag is a good way to get nipped. So good thing all worked out.

In the states, baby caimans and other diminuitive croc relations seem to me far more likely to be shipped by such methods, legal or illegal (mostly illegal) and upon discovery panic would ensue, as people who work with both say caimans are fairly aggressive and come out of the egg raising cain.

Funny enough, gators seem more calm and less likely to be haters of mankind, but then they have the drawback of being rather large to deal with.

Florida has the monsters and the reputation for attacks on people, but we actually have these guys wild, down at a place called "The Childrens' Pond" (funny enough) near the Clemson University Research Station here in South Carolina.

Unlike on a plane, these guys generally find you first and are peeping in stealth long before you find THEM!

People are wising up, and the state of SC will BURN you for feeding these guys so much as a hot dog bun.