Be Wary Of Alligators In Central Florida
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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As more people are moving down to Florida from northern states, there are information needing to be shared with these new comers in order for them to also coexist with alligators of Central Florida.
In the past 10 years, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has received an average of nearly 16,000 alligator-related complaints per year. Most of these complaints deal with alligators occurring in places such as backyard ponds, canals, ditches and streams, but other conflicts occur when alligators wander into garages, swimming pools and golf course ponds. Sometimes, alligators come out of the water to bask in the sun or move between wetlands. In many cases, if left alone, these alligators will eventually move on to areas away from people.
- Never feed alligators: it is both dangerous and illegal to feed alligators because alligators can overcome their natural wariness and learn to associate people with food. If this happens, some of these alligators have to be removed and killed.
- Do not throw fish scraps into the water. Dispose of fish scraps in garbage cans at boat ramps and fish camps. You don’t want to unintentionally feeding alligators.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you are bitten by an alligator. Alligator bites can result in serious infections.
- Observe and photograph alligators from a distance. Alligators are an important part of Florida’s natural history as well as an integral component of aquatic ecosystems.
- Alligators are usually less than 4 feet in length and are not large enough to be dangerous unless handled. However, if any one encounters any alligator presenting potential threat to people, pets, or property, be sure to call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286). Please be aware that nuisance alligators are killed, not relocated.
- Be aware that alligator bites may occur when people are working or recreating near fresh or brackish water. Pay close attention to your surrounding when near fresh or brackish water.
- Do not swim outside of posted swimming areas or in waters that might be inhabited by large alligators.
- Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn. So, avoid swimming between dusk and dawn.
- Don’t allow pets to swim, exercise, drink in or near waters that may contain alligators. Dogs and cats are similar in size to the natural prey of alligators, therefore pets often attract an alligator’s interest. So do not swim with your dog.
- Leave alligators alone. State law prohibits killing, harassing, or possessing alligators. Handling even small alligators can result in injury.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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