At Leland Management many of the communities we manage contain water features such as ponds or lakes and it is not unusual to spot an alligator living in those areas. While our gator friends are not usually aggressive, they can at times be very dangerous especially to pets and small children. The following tips have been prepared by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to keep you and your family safe from unwanted alligators in your community.
- Be aware of the possibility of alligators when you are in or near fresh or brackish water. Bites may occur when people do not pay close enough attention to their surroundings when working or recreating near water.
- Do not swim outside of posted swimming areas or in waters that might be inhabited by large alligators.
- Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn. Therefore, avoid swimming at night.
- Dogs and cats are similar in size to the natural prey of alligators. Don’t allow pets to swim, exercise or drink in or near waters that may contain alligators. Dogs often attract an alligator’s interest, so do not swim with your dog.
- Leave alligators alone. State law prohibits killing, harassing or possessing alligators. Handling even small alligators can result in injury.
- Never feed alligators – it’s dangerous and illegal. When fed, alligators can overcome their natural wariness and learn to associate people with food. When this happens, some of these alligators have to be removed and killed.
- Dispose of fish scraps in garbage cans at boat ramps and fish camps. Do not throw them into the water. Although you are not intentionally feeding alligators when you do this, the result can be the same.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you are bitten by an alligator. Alligator bites can result in serious infections.
- Observe and photograph alligators only from a distance. Remember, they’re an important part of Florida’s natural history as well as an integral component of aquatic ecosystems.
For more information visit myfwc.com/media/152524/Alligator_Brochure.pdf.