Living with alligators
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.