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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — Officials say an 8-foot (2.4-meter) crocodile that came ashore on a Florida beach has been released unharmed, far from swimming and sunbathing tourists.

The Sun Sentinel reports that Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Katie Purcell says the large, female reptile was let go Monday evening in a “suitable habitat” somewhere in Broward County. She wouldn’t say exactly where.

Wildlife officers caught the crocodile Monday afternoon on Hollywood Beach. Hollywood spokeswoman Joann Hussey says it was first spotted near the pier in nearby Dania Beach as it drifted south in the Atlantic Ocean. Before wildlife officers responded, lifeguards were keeping people a safe distance from the creature.

Hollywood Beach is located between Fort Lauderdale and Miami.


Information from: Sun Sentinel ,