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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.

 

 

Images are by the author unless otherwise indicated.

7. Create a barrier on your property, if necessary.

 

An alligator basks on a bank near a fence,Many residents of Florida and other 'alligator states' live on the bank of a canal, river or stream, and are rightly concerned about the entrance of an alligator to their property, especially if they have small children or pets. The most effective measure (though not necessarily alligator-proof) is installation of a wall or fence. Another possible deterrent is dense vegetation.

 

Any construction or planting like these discourages the animal from entering the area, where it may wish to bask or travel through. You should check your local laws and ordinances pertaining to erecting such a barrier.

 

THE ALLIGATOR BARRIER*

 

An alligator is quite capable of climbing certain barriers, but one can install an obstruction that almost certainly would prevent an alligator from entering a property.

 

SIZE.

 

Generally, such a structure should be at least 6 feet in height and an additional minimum of 20 inches should reach under the surface of the ground, since the alligator is an expert digger and if eager enough may resort to digging.

 

STRUCTURE TYPES.

 

WALL. A tall, smooth concrete wall can be a good barrier. This describes a wall that does not have large protrusions, such as deep stucco, which would facilitate an alligator's grip and one which is at least six to eight feet in height. The height serves as a deterrent to a very large 'gator:

 

Consider that an eager, 12-foot long alligator can prop itself up against a wall, and it would be approximately six feet in length vertically from the base of its tail to the tip of its snout -- and proceed to propel its body upward using the great power of its tail, as it  does, especially in water. This example may help one to understand how a large alligator can scale even a smooth wall if the barrier is not tall enough.

 

ANGULAR PROTRUSION. An alternative to great height of a wall is the installation of a protrusion at the top which stops the alligator from climbing or propelling itself further upward; the general design principles of such a protrusion are further discussed below in the paragraph dealing with metal fencing. Such a protrusion may be constructed of various sturdy materials.

 

FENCING. A fence may serve as a deterrent. If a wooden fence, the wood slats should be vertical rather than horizontal, as horizontal boards or slats may serve as a 'ladder rungs' for the alligator. The issue of height, as discussed above, also applies.

 

If a metal (woven) fence, it should be made of chain-link or panel contruction, woven in panels small enough to prevent an alligator slipping through.

 

The fence should have installed at the top a metal-woven overhanging angled protrusion (chain-link, panel, barbed wire etc.) of at least 20 inches in depth at a minimum angle of 45°. The angled portion of the barrier prevents a climbing alligator from advancing over the fence. The thickness/strength of the metal should ideally be 11.5 gauge or stronger; this guage in chain-link form, or its equivalent in other form, is the requirement of the State of Florida for permitted possessors of larger crocodilians (note that the lower the gauge number, the stronger the metal strand is). Furthermore, hatchling, yearling and small juvenile alligators may be able to pass through smaller fence links and panels, though larger, more dangerous alligators, will not.

 

Visit your local accredited zoo and you will see various examples of such barriers described above, which at a zoo are designed mostly to keep certain animals from escaping their enclosures.

 

MAINTENANCE.

 

Any such artificial barrier maybe rendered useless if not properly installed and maintained; care should be taken not to permit trees, shrubbery, vines or other vegetation to grow near or on the barrier, or for objects to be leaned against or attached to, the barrier, as such might serve as a "ladder" for alligators to climb in order to breach the barrier.

 

Watch an alligator easily scale a fence, in the amateur video below. Note the ineffectiveness of this kind of barrier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* 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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