PREMIER ISSUE OF NEW GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY'S NEW MAGAZINE
DEVOTED TO THE FIRST SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF
THE KILLER CROCS OF BROOKLYN
SEPARATING MYTH FROM FACT
As far as we know this is the first scientific investigation of the encounters between people living in Brooklyn and native and implanted reptile populations. There is much rumor and myth about crocodile and alligator attacks in Brooklyn, even Hollywood exploited this phenomenon, but until this time it has been impossible to separate myth from fact.
Much of the information gather in this study is not totally reliable because before 1853 accurate records of encounters were not kept, though there are clearly documented accounts dating back to the first settlers in Brooklyn.
We are certain that the first issue of the New York Geographic Society's magazine will be extremely informative.
This research was conducted by a large and dedicated team. I especially want to thank Mitch Tobin who spent weeks in the Brooklyn sewer system, in his kayak, observing the mating habits of these native reptiles, Lang Phipps spent months in the archives of Brooklyn's Town Hall, and interviewing victims and relatives of victims. His research at the Brooklyn Historical Society'S American Indian Center provided the connection between paleo-Indian culture and native crocodilian populations.
"Consider the chief of the beasts, the crocodile
Who devours cattle as if they were grass.
What strength is in his loins.
What power in the muscles of his belly.
The sinews of his flanks are closely knit.
His bones are like tubes of bronze.
And his limbs like bars of iron.
He is the chief God's works,
Made to be a tyrant over his peers,
For he takes the animals of the hills for his prey
And in his jaws he crushes all wild beasts.
There under the shore plants he lies
Hidden in the reeds and the marsh
The flowers conceals him in its shadows
Willem de Jies, 1623,
Dutch trader who observed crocodiles along
the south beaches of Brooklyn
This research project was funded by the generous contributions of
members of the New York Geographic Society,
and grants from the George C. Tilou Foundation,
the Tobin Family Foundation,
and the John Beresford Tipton Charitable Trust.
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