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R.I.P. Hank the Crocosaurus: 1962-2009

Hank the Crocosaurus has unexpectedly, er, croaked, according to a story in the Miami Herald. Hank was discovered dead in his tank at Jungle Island (the attraction formerly known as Parrot Jungle) on August 10. Only 47, he died young for a saurian superstar.

Hank the Crocosaurus
Hank the Crocosaurus.
The biggest tourist attraction gators and crocs usually live solitary lives, mostly for the safety of other animals who would otherwise end up as snacks. Hank, however, had a friend, a turtle named Frank. The Herald notes that while veterinarians try to figure out why Hank died, “they moved Frank to another pool so as not to traumatize him.”

According to the Herald, Hank will join a pantheon of other former Florida saurian champions — Old Joe, Big Joe, Gomek, and Superman — that live on at their former homes (Wakulla Springs, Everglades Wonder Gardens, St. Augustine Alligator Farm, and Billie Swamp Safari) as stuffed attractions.

We will miss your sullen, camera-shunning presence, Hank!

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