It’s alligator mating season–nice, right?– so I thought as a Florida resident I’d pass on some important information regarding these prehistoric reptiles. The species has existed for 150 million years! They managed to avoid extinction 65 million years ago when their contemporaries, the dinosaurs died off.
They are Everywhere in FLORIDA!
I live in a gated Golf community in West Palm Beach, and I am surrounded by golfers and ‘gators. I can look out my window and watch them swim by. We co-exist alongside each other, but never do we get too comfortable in their vicinity. They are natural predators, and move extremely fast. We see them sun bathing on the edge of lakes, and trust me when the golf ball gets too close to one of them, a drop is better than a fight.
Here are some interesting facts taken from the internet.
There are about 1.3 million wild alligators in Florida, according to an estimate from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. That’s more than 22 per square mile and about one for every 15 residents.
Alligators prefer fresh water lakes and slow-moving rivers and their wetlands, but can also be found in brackish, or slightly salty, water.
Locals have spotted the reptiles in swimming pools and even garages, and receive more than 15,000 alligator-related complaints a year on average. The residents of Ibis can attest to this! Someone found a small gator under their car!
HUMAN ATTACKS RARE
Alligators naturally fear humans, wildlife experts said. Only 23 people in Florida have died from unprovoked alligator attacks since 1948, as of April data from the commission. There have been 383 non-fatal bites reported in that time. While rare, alligator attacks are more likely to happen at night.
BECOMING A NUISANCE
The reptiles become a threat, or “nuisance alligators,” when people feed them. Florida law prohibits the feeding of alligators because that removes their innate fear of humans. People can receive a $500 fine for doing so. The commission allows some 7,000 nuisance alligators to be killed each year.
As terrifying as these reptiles are, it is safe to bring your families and vacation in Florida! Obey the warning signs and Please Don’t feed the Gators.