A recent report by 7News (WSVN-FOX) about crocodiles near the bayfront Nirvana Condominium in Miami’s Upper East Side neighborhood spotlighted residents’ concerns and the association’s response. It illustrates how it is essential for associations to take appropriate actions whenever they are made aware of potentially dangerous wildlife incursions in their community.
“It’s scary . . . There’s a big croc here, and its potentially dangerous for dogs and the kids . . . We’re just worried about the dogs and especially the safety of the little children,” said residents who spoke with the station’s reporter.
The residents tell the station they have spotted the crocodile for months, and building management and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have been made aware of the situation.
In response, members of the FWC have visited and investigated, and Nirvana’s property management sent an email alerting residents and instructing them to stay away from the water after dark. It also warned that they should be especially cautious when kayaking, paddle boarding and swimming in the bay.
This email and the outreach to the FWC are great first steps. Property management or other association representatives should also obtain and consider the recommendations from the agency’s wildlife officers, and they should contact professional trappers for their expert advice and input. The installation of permanent warning signs, physical barriers and other measures may also be in order.
It may be argued that associations, such as Nirvana Condominium, that have been made aware of dangerous wildlife on their property, or those that should reasonably be aware of it, have a duty to take appropriate actions. They should seek guidance from qualified legal counsel, notify the FWC and request any possible intervention and input from its wildlife officers, and seek the help of qualified wildlife professionals. In some cases, working in conjunction with the associations for neighboring communities will also be necessary.
For community associations, any signs and reports of dangerous wildlife on their property should be met with an immediate and robust response. The safety and security of residents should always be paramount, and crocodiles, alligators, wild hogs and other wild animals found in Florida are an obvious peril that require immediate attention and remedial actions.
Click here to read and watch the report on the station’s website.
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