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RECORD NUMBER OF CROCODILE HATCHLINGS TAGGED AT TURKEY POINT NUCLEAR PLANT

 MIAMI, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- One year after Hurricane Andrew, the endangered American crocodiles that live and breed in the cooling canals associated with Florida Power & Light Company's Turkey Point nuclear plant appear to have weathered the storm without any ill effects.
 From late June when crocodile hatching season began to the end of August when the 1993 hatching season closed, FPL biologists have captured, tagged and returned to the wild a record number of 175 hatchlings from nine nesting sites. This is an increase from last year's record of 155 baby crocodiles from 12 nests.
 "The verdict is in on the crocodiles' ability to survive a hurricane as severe as Andrew. Not only did the rugged reptiles survive, but our studies indicate that over the past several years the crocodile population at Turkey Point has remained constant or possibly has increased," said Kurt Petersen, FPL's site superintendent of land utilization at Turkey Point. "The crocodile has been around for 200 million years and it is going to take more than Hurricane Andrew to wipe this population out."
 FPL began its crocodile monitoring program at Turkey Point in 1978. The man-made banks that were created as a result of the cooling canal construction are the ideal nesting sites for American crocodiles. The 168 miles of canals create an isolated, safe, saltwater habitat, where food is plentiful for the crocodiles.
 Turkey Point nuclear plant is one of three remaining American crocodile breeding sites in the United States. The other two, both located in southern Florida, are Everglades National Park and Key Largo.
 -0- 9/2/93
 /CONTACT: Ray Golden of Florida Power & Light Company Corporate Communications Dept., 305-552-3894 or 305-552-3895/


CO: Florida Power & Light Company; Turkey Point Nuclear Plant ST: Florida IN: UTI SU:

AW -- FL005 -- 8361 09/02/93 10:54 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 2, 1993
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