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Man bitten by crocodile in Florida Everglades after capsizing sailboat, falling in water

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — A 68-year-old man fell of a sailboat at a marina in the Florida Everglades and was bitten by a crocodile as he tried to swim to shore, authorities said.

The rare crocodile bite occurred Sunday afternoon at the Flamingo Marina in Everglades National Park and left the man, who was visiting the park, with a laceration to one leg that required medical attention, the National Park Service said.

The Everglades is one of the largest wetlands in the world and according to the National Wildlife Foundation, is the only place in the world where American crocodiles and American alligators co-exist. There are about 1.8 million alligators in Florida but only 2,000 crocodiles.

The man capsized his sailboat in the marina basin and was trying to swim to land with his boat when witnesses saw him go under the water, officials said. Park rangers responded and treated the cut on the man’s leg before he was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

No further information was released on the man's condition.

It's rare for an American crocodile to bite a human, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The only other documented case involving a crocodile biting a human happened in 2014, Lauren Claerbout, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in an email.

It's also rare for alligators to bite humans, Claerbout said. In Florida, there are about eight unprovoked alligators bites to humans annually.

Crocodiles are a federally threatened species. They have narrower, more triangular heads and often prefer coastal, brackish and salt water, while alligators are darker, have broader snouts and are typically found in freshwater,

Rangers and park biologists were investigating the attack and monitoring the suspected crocodile.