Florida residents and visitors should be aware its alligator mating season once again and you cannot be too careful with these fierce but wonderful creatures. Each year as spring turns into summer and the weather begins to truly warm, an alligators metabolism increases and they become quite frisky in seeking out mates.
Once on the edge of extinction, the alligator population has fully recovered and encounters with humans are inevitable. You can find them on your front lawn, in your swimming pool and even in your house, if you’re not careful. Awareness and understanding are the keys for learning how best to live near the areas they inhabit.
So, here are some important Gator tips to remember:
- Alligators live in both fresh and brackish water. Never swim or wade in waters not posted for swimming, especially near dusk or at night.
- Never feed an alligator. Doing so can make them unafraid of humans and is against the law in Florida.
- Closely supervise children and pets and never let them play near any body of water unattended.
- Observe and photograph alligators only from a safe distance. They are capable of short bursts of speed and can raise themselves up by several feet. So, give them a wide berth.
- If attacked, make as much noise as possible and try to hit or poke at the alligators eyes. They are more likely to release prey that fights back.
- Seek medical attention immediately. Even minor bites from a small gator can cause serious infections.
- Don’t try to pretend you are like the “guys you see on TV” and think you can deal with these creatures. Call in the professionals when you encounter an aggressive alligator.
- Call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Alligator Hotline (866-392-4286) for any gator over four feet in length that you feel is posing a threat to life or property.
A little common sense and being aware of your surroundings are the best things you can do to live in harmony with these amazing inhabitants of our state.
Gulf Coast Associates, Realtors
Bonita Springs, Florida