Welcome to Florida....Home to the Alligators

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Welcome to Florida....Home to the Alligators

Camping season is upon us and it's exciting to get outdoors.  Many visitors travel to sunny Florida to enjoy the sandy shorelines and camp and fish amongst the many rivers, lakes and tributaries.  However, if you are not from these parts make yourself aware there are alligators in our waters.  During the months of May and June, it is mating seasons and it not uncommon to see alligators emerging from swamps in the quest for love.  The months of June and July at nesting season.   Some have been seen resting under cars, walking across the street, or on the campground. 

Here are some important facts and safety tips offered by the University of Florida:

  • Leave alligators alone. Alligators are shy animals that usually avoid human contact.
  • Pay attention. Keep an eye on your surroundings near fresh or brackish waters. Avoid vegetation-filled areas of rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water.
  • Do not feed alligators. Feeding alligators is illegal. Alligators that are fed will come to associate humans with food and will lose their natural fear.
  • Throw fish scraps into trash cans. Do not discard fish scraps in the water at fish camps or boat ramps—you will unintentionally feed alligators.
  • Follow directions on signs. Do not swim outside of posted swimming areas.
  • Swim and fish during daylight hours only. Alligators are most active at night.
  • Stay with children. Never allow small children to play unattended near water.
  • Keep an eye on your pets. Dogs are in more danger from alligators than humans, because they resemble the reptiles' natural prey. Do not let your dog swim in waters where you know alligators live.
  • Remember the odds. You are more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by an alligator in Florida.

If you do have a close run-in with an alligator that charges at you, run away fast and straight, not zig-zag. It is unlikely, however, that an alligator will display this behavior unless you are near its nest.

Remember that in Florida, it is illegal to kill or harass alligators; alligators may only be harvested under special licenses and permits issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. If you have a nuisance alligator in your area, contact the FWC office or call 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).

To learn more about these exciting reptiles, visit the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida.  https://www.alligatorfarm.com/

Happy and safe camping.