Here come the alligators
Recently, an 11-ft. alligator made its way into a homeowner’s swimming pool in Sarasota, FL after busting through the patio screen.
A seven-ft. alligator caused a traffic jam on Easter Sunday in Jacksonville, while trying to cross Interstate 295.
Warmer weather is bringing out alligators.
In 2017, the Statewide Alligator Nuisance Program (SNAP), received 13, 210 nuisance alligator complaints resulting in the removal of 8, 455 nuisance alligators.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), This once endangered species, has a healthy and stable alligator population estimated at 1.3 million in a variety of sizes just in Florida. In addition, alligators inhabit all 67 counties in Florida
An important part of Florida’s wetlands and eco-system, alligators become more active when the temperature rises and their metabolism increases. Mating season is from April – June.
“While alligators are a part of the Florida landscape, you certainly want to keep your distance,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency.
Alligators are unique, in the fact they that inhabit land and water. This feature also makes them very dangerous. American zookeeper, Jack Hanna says an alligator can outrun all human creatures within the first 20-30 feet of exiting the water, making it very difficult for humans to outrun alligators.
The Key West Aquarium, has advice for living with alligators:
Avoid feeding an alligator, it is dangerous and illegal.
Stay at a safe distance of at least 50 feet away.
Do not approach an alligator to take a selfie.
Avoid checking to see if an alligator is alive.
Before entering a freshwater stream, lake or spring, check around. Alligators are often around even if you don’t see them.
Keep pets on a leash and away from the water.
Steer clear of water at night.
If one bites you, make as much noise as possible. Work hard to get away, use force and try poking at their eyes.
People with concerns about an alligator can call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline, 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).