Images are by the author unless
Create a barrier on your property, if
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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