American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) are found in ten states but the highest populations are in Florida and Louisiana. This particular gator was captured on camera in Florida by the Alonso Ravens HS Lacrosse Team. As the entire team lined up, the reptile saunters nonchalantly across the lacrosse field completely unaware that they have become the center of attention. This is a pitch invasion to remember so keep scrolling to watch the full video!
Make Sure You Check The Field Before You Enter!
Where Do American Alligators Live?
There are more than four million American alligators in the US and their numbers are not under threat right now. Their populations are concentrated in the southeastern USA. As well as in Florida and Louisiana, they are found in the southern parts of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to name just a few locations.
These reptiles have a preference for freshwater environments so you will find them in ponds, rivers, and lakes. They also hang out in marshes, wetlands, and swamps – any brackish environment is a potential home for them.
Southern Florida is unusual because is the only place where both Alligators and Crocodiles occupy the same area. You can tell alligators apart from crocodiles because they have a wider and blunter muzzle and they do not grow so big. Even so, these alligators can reach up to 15 feet in length and weigh up to 800 pounds.
Do Alligators Attack Humans?
The humans in this video are keeping their distance and that is a wise thing to do. Alligators are carnivores and have strong bites and sharp teeth to help them catch their prey. Their usual diet is made up of fish, birds, frogs, and other mammals that wander into their habitat. Humans are not their natural prey but that does not mean that they will not attack us.
Records show that in the state of Florida alone, there are around eight unprovoked alligator attacks per year. It’s no surprise that the larger gators inflict the most serious injuries. Humans can and do die from alligator attacks.
The basic advice is that if you leave alligators alone they are much less likely to attack you. It is never a good idea to antagonize an alligator. Females with young can be very defensive. Feeding them is also a mistake. This makes them view you as a source of food and can make them more aggressive towards you!
Can a Person Outrun an Alligator?
Chasing a human on dry land is actually pretty rare for alligators. Most humans can easily outpace an alligator, regardless of whether they zigzag or run in a straight line. Alligators typically reach a maximum speed of approximately 9.5 miles per hour, and they cannot keep that pace for extended periods.
Furthermore, any physically fit adult human can easily outpace any member of the crocodilian family. The fastest documented running speed observed in a crocodilian was achieved by a Freshwater Crocodile, which reached just slightly over 10 miles per hour.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that while a Saltwater Crocodile and an Aligator might briefly chase off an invader after an initial strike from the water’s edge, the animal most likely would not continue a pursuit.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/cturtletrax
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