American Croc Off Endangered List Thanks To...a Nuclear Power Plant?

The rare American crocodile has made it off the endangered species list thanks in large part to..."The Simpsons" Mr. Burns? Well, not exactly, but no one could have guessed that a nuclear power plant would play a key role in bringing the American croc back from the brink...

From this story in USA Today:
_An unexpected but fruitful relationship has blossomed between two potent forces in the swamps of South Florida: the American crocodile and a nuclear power plant. The reptile has made it off the endangered species list thanks in part to 168 miles (270 kilometers) of manmade cooling canals surrounding Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant in the southeastern corner of the Florida peninsula. It turns out that Florida Power and Light was building prime croc habitat just as virtually every other developer was paving it over. Federal wildlife officials give the state's largest public utility part of the credit for a five-fold increase in the species' population in Florida. There are only two other sanctuaries for the crocodiles, which are still considered threatened.

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"The way the cooling canal system was designed actually turned out to be pretty good for crocodile nesting," said John Wrublik, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service . "It wasn't designed for crocodiles, but they've done a very good job of maintaining that area." Hundreds of crocodiles, as long as 15 feet and as heavy as one ton, roam the swampland surrounding the power plant.

As Mr. Burns would say...excellent! But a nuclear power plant and crocodiles...those horror flick mutant possibilities are endless.