Alligator Safety

Fall 2006 CSANews Issue 60  |  Posted date : May 30, 2007.Back to list

Over the decades, humans and alligators have begun to live closer and closer together. And as a result, we’re not quite as scary to them as we once were. Alligator attacks are on the rise, especially those against children and pets. And the vast majority of these attacks are either directly or indirectly caused by humans. To keep safe, and to respect the natural environment, alligator specialists offer the following tips:

  • Always remain alert. Be aware of your surroundings. Use your common sense at all times when walking near bodies of water in which alligators may be present.
  • Never feed alligators. It is for this exact reason that alligators are losing their fear of humans. When we feed the alligators, they begin to see us as a food source. In Florida, it is illegal to feed alligators
  • Do not dump fish remains in the water. The same applies to feeding ducks in or near the water. Although indirectly, the alligators are in effect being fed by humans.
  • Stay at least 30 feet away from alligators. Those stumpy alligator legs can move surprisingly quickly. Alligators are known to make speedy movements, so always keep a fair distance away.
  • Stay away from alligator nests. Like most animals, mother alligators can get nasty if they feel that their young are threatened. Alligator nests are normally big mounds of sticks and other types of vegetation.
  • Keep children and pets away from danger. Keep children and pets away from the water’s edge and never allow children or pets to go into water in which alligators may be present. Do not allow children or pets to play in thick, aquatic vegetation.
  • Don’t swim outside posted areas. Don’t find out the hard way that most bodies of water in the south are inhabited by alligators. If you need to cool off, go to the public swimming pool.
  • When boating, do not dangle hands or feet in the water. Again, use your common sense. Dangling hands and feet would make a tasty snack for a hungry alligator.