ZooMiami’s search for plastic bottle includes crocodiles’ guts

ZooMiami shared this photograph on Wednesday of an endangered Cuban crocodile at the animal clinic Tuesday in Miami-Dade County. (Courtesy photo: Ron Magill/ZooMiami)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – When a plastic bottle fell into the area where two endangered crocodiles, Leroy and Princess, live at ZooMiami, the fear of a potentially deadly digestive obstruction prompted veterinarians to act quickly.

Award-winning photographer Ron Magill, a spokesman for the zoo, reported Wednesday that the Cuban crocodiles had to be sedated to undergo radiographs on Tuesday at the zoo’s animal hospital.

“Over the years, everything from cell phones to sunglasses have been retrieved from the bellies of animals at the zoo, causing significant stress and in some cases, physical harm,” Magill wrote in a statement.

In 2019, Leroy had to have gastric surgery to remove a metal can and Princess had a plastic baby bottle removed, according to Magill.

On Tuesday, the veterinarians found “some small unidentifiable items,” including what appeared to be a large bottle cap, in the crocodiles’ stomachs, according to Magill.

After an endoscopy, the vet did not consider surgery necessary. The hope is Leroy and Princess will be able to get rid of the garbage.

Magill said the zoo had a request for guests: “Please ensure that all personal items are secure to prevent them from ending up in habitats where they can be extremely harmful to the animals.”

More photographs from ZooMiami

ZooMiami shared this photograph on Wednesday of an endangered Cuban crocodile at the animal clinic Tuesday in Miami-Dade County. (Courtesy photo)
ZooMiami shared this photograph on Wednesday of an endangered Cuban crocodile at the animal clinic Tuesday in Miami-Dade County. (Courtesy photo)
ZooMiami shared this photograph on Wednesday of an endangered Cuban crocodile at the animal clinic Tuesday in Miami-Dade County. (Courtesy photo)
ZooMiami shared this photograph on Wednesday of an endangered Cuban crocodile at the animal clinic Tuesday in Miami-Dade County. (Courtesy photo)
ZooMiami shared this photograph on Wednesday of an endangered Cuban crocodile at the animal clinic Tuesday in Miami-Dade County. (Courtesy photo)
ZooMiami shared this photograph on Wednesday of an endangered Cuban crocodile at the animal clinic Tuesday in Miami-Dade County. (Courtesy photo)
ZooMiami shared this photograph on Wednesday of an endangered Cuban crocodile at the animal clinic Tuesday in Miami-Dade County. (Courtesy photo)
ZooMiami shared this photograph on Wednesday of an endangered Cuban crocodile at the animal clinic Tuesday in Miami-Dade County. (Courtesy photo)
ZooMiami shared this photograph on Wednesday of an endangered Cuban crocodile at the animal clinic Tuesday in Miami-Dade County. (Courtesy photo)
ZooMiami shared this photograph on Wednesday of an endangered Cuban crocodile at the animal clinic Tuesday in Miami-Dade County. (Courtesy photo)

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.