At Least 200 Crocodiles Crawl Into Cities As Heavy Rains Hit Northern Mexico

At Least 200 Crocodiles Crawl Into Cities As Heavy Rains Hit Northern Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Heavy rains associated with Hurricane Beryl and the earlier Tropical Storm Alberto have led at least 200 crocodiles to enter urban areas in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, across from Texas, state and federal authorities said this week.

So far, authorities say they have captured and relocated around 200 of the big reptiles since Alberto pelted the region with rain in June. Beryl brushed the same area before making landfall in south Texas earlier this week.

Authorities said the heavy rains raised water levels in coastal lagoons, leading the animals to crawl into cities like Tampico and the nearby cities of Ciudad Madero and Altamira, where at least 165 crocodiles have been captured and relocated.

The head of Tamaulipas state environment department, Karina Lizeth Saldívar, said in a statement that “the recent rains have increased the water levels in the lagoon systems, which had led to an increase in the sightings of crocodiles.”

The federal Attorney General’s Office for Environmental Protection said about 40 more crocodiles had been captured in the area in June and were relocated to appropriate habitat outside populated areas.

The problem may continue, the office said, noting that “as the water levels go down in places like streets and drainage canals that were flooded, crocodiles will turn up and sightings will certainly increase.”

The problem came to light this week when social media users posted videos of several crocodiles tied up in urban areas. That “caused an uproar in social media,” the department said.

Crocodiles are a protected species in Mexico. Attacks by them in Mexico are rare but have occurred.