Ever imagined that exact, excruciating moment when an American crocodile closes its iron jaws around your face and clamps out the last dying embers of your life with its array of razor-sharp teeth? No? Well, here's a GoPro video shot in Homestead to help fuel your newest croc nightmares.
The video was shot at Homestead's Everglades Outpost Wildlife Rescue by a volunteer named Chris Madden, who built a PVC frame around his camera before dangling it into the water for a crocodile nicknamed "Big Boy."
The video may not exactly inspire warm and cuddly emotions toward the American croc, but the Everglades Outpost's founder, Bob Freer, is hoping the viral clip -- which has racked up more than 20,000 views on YouTube and been featured in dozens of national news clips since last week -- might inspire some volunteers to help out at his rescue center.
"So far I've just had a lot of reporters calling me," Freer tells Riptide.
"Big Boy" is one of hundreds of rescues at the center near the edge of the Everglades, and while he may have gone to town on the camera, he actually lives at the center because he's too accustomed to people to survive in the wild. Freer's outpost adopted the croc after an attraction near Orlando called Gator Jungle closed up shop and needed a home for its semidomesticated animals.
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"He'd been living in captivity for too long and couldn't be set free in the wild again," Freer says.
Freer founded his operation in 1994 and takes in injured or unwanted Florida creatures of all stripes. He says he hopes the video will eventually stir up some volunteers, and points anyone interested toward his website. (You can also reach the center directly at 305-247-8000).