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Contact authorities if you suspect
alligator may pose danger.
tip closely relates to the previous one, about reporting the
feeding of an alligator by a human.
Your state's wildlife or environmental agency is
authorized to investigate complaints from citizens regarding so-called
"nuisance" alligators. In the event that you believe, based on
observation, that an alligator poses a danger to you or others, it is
wise to call the authorities. (Of course, in the rare event that someone
is under attack, the best option is to call
911 Emergency for help, and to do what you can
to help the victim.)
Usually, an alligator under 4 ft/ 1.2 m in length
poses insignificant or no danger (in Florida, authorities generally do
not remove alligators under four feet in length). If, however, you observe an alligator
of any size behaving in such a way that convinces you that it
may come into actual conflict with humans, the authorities should be contacted.
Did you know? To report a
"nuisance" alligator, you may find contact information for
your state's wildlife authority,
Learning all you can about alligators from various
sources, including Living Among Alligators, can serve you well
in estimating an alligator situation. The use of this knowledge will
help you to contribute to public safety and also to avoid unnecessary
fear in the event that an alligator may be in the vicinity, but not
posing to the safety of humans.
In Florida, where human-alligator conflict is most common, wildlife agents are kept extremely busy
fielding more than 21,000
complaints annually (compared to about 2,000 in Louisiana), so the more the public learns
about alligators, the less likely frivolous (though
well-meaning) complaints will consume authorities' valuable and
limited resources - not to mention public tax dollars.
By learning as much as you can, you're better able to assess the
animal's status in your community and distinguish between a real threat
and a false alarm.