Claim: A Palm Beach golfer was devoured by a large crocodile right on the links.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, July 1998]
This is a true story from Palm Beach Florida (the proof is at the end): the first foursome of the day played together to the
NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!
Origins: This tale of reptilian horror, complete with shocking photograph, began circulating via
We can construct a litany of implausibilities and missing details about this one:
- In the most common version of this
e-mail,no date is given for the incident, not even a year.
- A much less widely circulated version begins with “This Croc. was taken at the ‘Breakers Golf Course’ in Palm Beach County, FL in June, 1998.” When asked about it, officials at the Breakers laughed at the story and denied anything like that had happened there. (View ABC’s report on this non-story; scroll down to the last third of the page.)
- Neither the victim nor his companions are named.
- Nobody on the golf course heard screams, spotted blood on the ground, or found any of the victim’s clothing.
- No major newspaper or magazine in the USA saw fit to report this news story.
- American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) are an endangered species that now live mainly in Central and South America. Only a few hundred remain in the southern Floridian areas of Key Largo and the Everglades; they have long since disappeared from areas as far north as Palm Beach.
- Though known to grow to nearly
15 feetlong, the American crocodile is bashful and lives a reclusive life, avoiding contact with humans whenever possible. No fatal attack on a human by an American crocodile has ever been recorded in Florida.
- According to biologist Steve Klett of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “Crocs have gotten a bad rap from the movies, you know, where you see them slide off the banks of the Nile to go kill something. The American crocodile is hardly what you’d call a man-eater.”
What about the picture? It shows a different species of crocodile, the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), and was taken in Borneo in 1997. Borneo is a fair distance from Palm Beach. Crocodile fans on the links can take heart, though: according to Men’s Health magazine, one of the
|Crocodile Eats Golfer? (crocodilian.com)|
Last updated: 29 July 2011
Dahlburg, John-Thor. “Urban Growth May Mean End to America’s Only Crocodiles.” United Press International. 21 December 1982. The Palm Beach Post. “The Most Dangerous Game?” 4 April 1997.