Croc at Florida Zoo Breaks Out of Van and Makes Dash Down Road in Wild Video

A large croc at a zoo in Florida broke the back window of a van and made a dash for freedom down the road, wild footage shows.

Keepers at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park were moving crocodilians to a different area of the zoo on February 22. They had secured the animals in a zoo van.

However, one decided to make a break for freedom, the park said in a Facebook post, which can be found here.

The footage, taken by witness Jessica Stark, shows two keepers at the zoo—Karsyn and Gen—pounce on the fleeing croc and attempt to restrain it while another struggles to hold it back with a rope.

THIS is why we have extensive training and do drills, to prepare for moments like this. 🐊 Earlier today, we were relocating crocodilians to another area...

The dramatic footage shows the moment keepers restrained the crocodilian

Officials at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park did not say what species of crocodilian it was. The park is home to more than 800 alligators and is the only zoo in the world where visitors can see all 24 species of crocodilians.

"Earlier today, we were relocating crocodilians to another area of the Zoo. They were secured and placed into our Zoo Van," the Facebook post said.

"This animal broke the back window of the van and made a dash down the road. Our crew acted quickly to recapture it, and deliver it safely to it's new enclosure. At no time was there any real danger as the animal's mouth was secured.

"Our crew acted quickly to recapture it, and deliver it safely to it's new enclosure. At no time was there any real danger as the animal's mouth was secured."

In the video, pedestrians and other cars can be seen in the background watching the encounter. The park said instances such as this is are precisely why the keepers have "extensive training and do drills."

There are a number of morphological differences between alligators and crocodiles.

Alligators tend to have a darker, blackish-grey skin, while crocodiles are a lighter, olive green or brown skin. Alligators also have a wider, U-shaped snout, while crocodiles have a V-shaped snout.

Larger species of crocodilians can be dangerous to humans if provoked. Data from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission shows that between 1999 and 2019, there were 16 fatal alligator attacks in Florida. They usually only bite humans unprovoked if they are looking for food or feel their territory is threatened. Males may also become aggressive during mating season.

It is not the first time keepers at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park have had dramatic encounters with their resident reptiles.

In 2020, a reptiles curator at the park, Jim Darlington, was attacked by one of the park's resident alligators. First Coast News said Darlington had been in a canoe in a swamp area of the park, where around 200 alligators lived, trying to retrieve some lost camera equipment.

The alligator leaped out of the water in a "feeding response." Darlington rose his arm to defend itself and the alligator took hold of it in its jaws. Darlington needed a "bunch of stitches" after he ripped his arm out of the alligators teeth, First Coast News said.

Alligator
A stock photo shows an alligator with its mouth open. The reptiles can be dangerous to humans if provoked. unclegene/Getty Images