Environment

We live in a state that has to issue ‘tips for living with alligators.’ Here they are.

Living with alligators

Alligators are important to Florida’s ecosystem and are found throughout the state. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission wants you to know that by following a few simple rules, we can co-exist with these amazing reptiles.
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Alligators are important to Florida’s ecosystem and are found throughout the state. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission wants you to know that by following a few simple rules, we can co-exist with these amazing reptiles.

Spring is here — nature’s annual coming-out party for alligators. That’s why spring is also time for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s tips for living with alligators.

Because they’re not going anywhere, no matter how much we expand to space.

Never feed an alligator. “It’s dangerous and illegal,” FWC warns. “When fed, alligators can overcome their natural wariness and learn to associate people with food.” If you need help following that to its logical conclusion, you need more help than we can provide here.

“Dispose of fish scraps in garbage cans at boat ramps and fish camps,” FWC says. “Do not throw them into the water.” It’s like feeding the alligators.

Keep pets away from the edge of the water. “Dogs and cats are similar in size to the natural prey of alligators,” FWC says. “Dogs often attract an alligator’s interest, so do not swim with your dog.”

Speaking of swimming, confine it to during the day and in certain designated areas. Alligators most often do their thing from dusk to dawn.

Don’t mess with the alligators. Leave them alone. It’s illegal to kill them or bully them. If you believe one is a threat to harm a person, call 866-FWC-GATOR (392-4286), FWC’s Nuisance Alligator Hotline.

More information on coexistence with alligators can be gained here.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

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