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Alligators are vital to Florida's ecosystem, but their presence in our communities occasionally leads to conflicts. Given their predatory nature, alligators may view pets as potential prey and unfortunate human encounters can happen.

Here are some essential safety guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Generally, alligators under four feet in length are not typically considered dangerous unless provoked. If you encounter an alligator that you believe threatens people, pets, or property, please contact the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at (866) FWC-GATOR.

  • Be mindful of the potential presence of alligators when near freshwater or brackish water bodies.

  • Avoid swimming outside designated swimming areas or in waters that may be inhabited by large alligators.

  • Alligators are most active during dawn and dusk, so refrain from swimming at night.

  • Due to their size, dogs and cats are at a higher risk of being bitten by alligators, as they resemble natural prey. Keep your pets away from waters that could house alligators, and never let them swim, play, or drink in these areas. Dogs can attract the attention of large alligators, so avoid swimming with your dog.

  • It's crucial to leave alligators undisturbed and never attempt to feed them.

  • Dispose of fish scraps in garbage cans rather than throwing them into the water. Though unintentional, throwing scraps into the water can have the same effect as feeding alligators.

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