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Alligators

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Alligators are an essential part of Florida’s landscape.  Although most Floridians understand that we have alligators in our community, the potential for conflict exists.  Because of their predatory nature, alligators may target pets as prey.  Unfortunately, people also are occasionally bitten. 

 

Here are some safety tips to remember:

  • Generally, alligators under four feet long are not large enough to be dangerous unless handled.  If you encounter an alligator that you believe poses a threat to people, pets, or property, call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at (866) FWC-GATOR.

  • Be aware of the possibility of alligators when you are in or near fresh or brackish water.

  • Do not swim outside posted swimming areas or waters that large alligators might inhabit.

  • Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn.  Therefore, do not swim at night.

  • Dogs and cats are similar in size to the natural prey of alligators and are, therefore, at a much higher risk of being bitten by alligators.  Don’t allow pets to swim, exercise or drink in or near waters that may contain alligators.  Dogs often attract large alligators who might inhabit their interests, so do not swim with your dog.

  • Leave alligators alone.

  • Never feed alligators.

  • Dispose of fish scraps in garbage cans.  Please do not throw them into the water.  Although you are not intentionally feeding alligators when you do this, the result can be the same.

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