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An Alligator Safety Guide


An alligator shares a footpath with humans.SAFETY TIPS

By the Dozen*


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1.Be aware on, in or near water. 2. Never approach an alligator.
3. Be extra aware during
the warmer seasons.
4. Never feed or entice an alligator.
5. Report illegal feeding or enticing. 6. Contact authorities if you suspect
a threatening alligator.
7. Create a barrier on your property. 8. If charged, run away
in a straight line.
9. If attacked, fight back. 10. If bitten, seek medical attention.
11. Never take one from the wild. 12. Share your knowledge.



4. Never feed or entice an alligator.


Why hunt hard for food all night when you can simply wait for a human to toss it right to your mouth? That's what a 'gator might think when it regularly enjoys food service from curious humans. Hence, each time that alligator sees a person --you guessed it-- it thinks that it's 'feeding time'. The alligator may approach that person, sometimes hungrily charging to accept its expected meal. It all adds up to a dangerous situation, especially if that person is a child. The smaller the prey, the more willing the 'gator is to pursue and take it.


The excitement of the alligator's presence tends to inspire mischief in its feeders, A Florida woman illegally feeds an alligator near her backyard.which may lead to a harmful or deadly brush with an alligator.


The images seen here are still shots from long-distance video taken by a concerned citizen in a south Florida neighborhood who said that she witnessed the woman here pictured repeatedly feeding an alligator.


Note in the second image that the woman has thrown her body backward to avoid contact with the reptile; this seems to indicate that the woman was surprised by the alligator's closer movement toward her. This is a "textbook" example of the escalation of danger when an alligator, like a dog or other animal, grows bolder with each feeding, losing its fear of humans and becoming exponentially more dangerous. If this reptile was a very large one, the potential danger could be much increased.


Even worse, other alligators who witness this event may copy that individual alligator's behavior, prompted by its positive outcome. The woman might one day have been confronted by multiple allligators, including a large one. And one more point: Even if the woman ceased feeding the alligator, the reptile's mind is now "programmed" to approach humans for food in many situations-- and the danger remains. These images demonstrate the amusement of novelty giving way to the danger of reality.


(Images were captured from video by Lynette Miller. Used under Fair Use law)


Feeding these crocodilians isn't just potentially dangerous, it's prohibited under statutory law in several states, including Florida. Don't be a participant in the possible eventual injury or death of another for the sake of the momentary thrill of feeding a wild alligator.


Did you know? Alligators longer than 48 inches which are involved in human-conflict incidents in Florida are, in compliance with state law, caught and killed by licensed trappers. Hence, the feeding of a wild alligator may well lead to its death.


This also includes disposing of fish scraps left over from fishing. Never leave the scraps on land or in water (those keen 'gator snouts can smell the scraps on the shore or dock). The scraps should be deposited in a nearby trash can. If there isn't such a can, you should take the scraps with you and dispose of them in a trash container elsewhere. In Florida, for example, it is illegal to leave scraps. Leaving scraps conditions the alligator's behavior just as direct feeding does.


Be careful too, when feeding fish, turtles or ducks, in case alligators are present. They will usually gladly eat fish, turtle or duck food. It is best to avoid these practices in the wild.


Also note that some who illicitly feed alligators may offer food that's unhealthful for the animal, such as marshmallows or hot dogs, food that may harm the alligator and possibly the ecological dependents of it.


Florida's current alligator regulations are readily available; you may read them, here.








* LEGAL NOTICE: This safety information is offered as general information only, and the Owner and Author of this website, his/its affiliates, associates, agents, and advertisers assume no liability in connection with this advice and/or its observance. Every situation with its myriad of factors is unique and impossible to predict, even by an expert. The consideration of the information presented here and from other reliable sources, along with the exercise of good sense and judgment, can go a long way to helping you stay safe. Furthermore, the Owner and Author of this website does not provide legal consultation. To obtain legal advice, consult a qualified attorney.  Any information provided, and/or offers made on this website, are void where prohibited by law. Please refer to this website's Terms of Service for more detailed information.




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