So, you step out of your house one day and spot an alligator. What do you do? As the video at the bottom of this page shows, you may get a hero cop who turns into a cowboy and lassos the offending reptile before it can cause too much trouble.
Is This Normal Behavior for the American Alligator?
This clip was filmed in Florida and so this creature is most likely an American alligator. They live in ten US states and Florida has a numerous population. Commonly called gators, these guys are large and muscular with stocky legs and webbed toes.
They are solitary predators and have a set of sharp teeth making them a threat to the safety of pets and humans.
It is not unusual to see alligators behaving like this. They enter human settlements looking for shelter or food. A hungry gator is not something that you want to encounter on your front lawn.
How Are Alligators Removed From Neighborhoods?
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission run a ‘Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program’ – aptly known as SNAP! If you are concerned about an alligator, you can call a toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline number. The program aims to address alligator threats in developed areas but also to conserve alligators in areas where they naturally occur.
So, what is deemed to be a nuisance alligator? In Florida, it is described as an alligator that is at least four feet in length and that poses a threat to “people, pets or property.” However, there are also situations where smaller alligators can cause a threat. For example, if they are in a swimming pool.
An alligator under four feet is only a threat to a human if you handle it. So, the advice is to leave it alone!
In Florida, between six and 16 alligator bites to humans are recorded each year. It is a state with a high gator population. Feeding alligators is a very bad idea and often leads to problems. The animals learn to associate humans with food and that can make them aggressive around us!
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