Magnets Could Keep Crocodiles Out of Florida Neighborhoods

Magnets are being attached to the heads of captured crocodiles in an effort to stop them from returning to South Florida neighborhoods, reported.

The magnets are meant to disrupt the crocodiles' internal navigation system, or homing cycle.

When crocodiles wandering into residential neighborhoods are captured and relocated, they will often travel about 10 miles a week to return to the place they were captured, state biologists told the Web site.

The temporary magnets are meant to disoriente the crocs when they are being transported so that they cannot find their way back. The magnets are taken off the reptile's head when it's released. A permanent, colored tag isthen put on the crocodile's tail to identify it, should it return.

"Scientists in Mexico have reported success in using magnets to break the homing cycle," Lindsey Hord, crocodile response coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told

The new practice could also mean more crocodiles will remain in the wild, because in Florida if one returns to the same location three times, they are placed in captivity.

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