Left: A person wearing gloves holds a small alligator. Right: A close-up of the alligator's head partially submerged in water. A dog can be seen in the background on the left side.

Rise in Crocodile Sightings in Cancún After Hurricane: What You Need to Know

In the aftermath of Hurricane 'Beryl', there has been a surge in reports of crocodiles venturing into residential areas.

Crocodile sightings in Cancún have risen since Hurricane 'Beryl' swept through the region. Tania Fernández Moreno, head of the Department of Ecology, noted that most of these sightings occurred near Nichupté Lagoon, with one even closer to the sea. "During hydrometeorological events, crocodiles often seek new nesting areas. This change in behavior leads to more frequent sightings. So far, we've had four or five reports," she explained.

Most of these sightings have been reported near Tajamar or in areas adjacent to the Nichupté Lagoon. One was even spotted near Langosta Beach, in Cancún's hotel zone. According to Fernández Moreno, hurricanes disrupt the crocodiles' habitats with their strong winds and heavy rains, prompting the animals to find new, safe nesting areas.

She reassured that most of the sighted crocodiles are small, measuring between 60 centimeters to a meter, and pose no danger. However, she urged caution when encountering them.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ENCOUNTER A CROCODILE IN THE CITY?

If you spot a crocodile, immediately call 911. The Ecology, Civil Protection, and Fire Department will then notify the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) to either return the crocodile to its natural habitat or relocate it if it's a repeat offender.

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Fernández Moreno emphasized that it is illegal to buy or keep a crocodile as a pet, as they need to be in their natural habitat. Over time, their care becomes challenging. "Often, they end up being released into areas that aren't their natural ecosystem, like urban cenotes," she said. In one such case near the Galaxias del Sol subdivision, a crocodile was spotted in a cenote. The area is currently being monitored to capture and relocate the animal.