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Alligator Info And Safety

Alligator Info And Safety

Most alligator problems occur between March and July which is the breeding season and they are most active between dusk and dawn. 

Alligators 7-8 feet in size is when they start injuring people and taking dogs.  Alligators don’t distinguish between domestic pets and natural food sources.  By instinct they will try and feed on a pet if given the chance. 

It is rare for an alligator to pursue a human because they really are too big to be prey. However they may become aggressive (if you are near their nest) and charge a human. Run fast and straight away from the gator (running in a zig zag is a misconception).

Be extremely cautious around any waterways. 

Alligators have sharp claws and powerful tails to help them push their bodies up.  Young alligators are agile climbers and adults have been known to climb fences to get to water or escape captivity. 

Never get closer than 15 feet to an alligator.  If it hisses or opens its mouth – back away even farther. Alligators can be surprisingly quick and can lunge with explosive force. 

Never toy with smaller alligators  – they may be babies and the mother may be nearby. It is illegal to harass or throw things at alligators and is punishable by law with fines and jail time. 

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Never feed or entice alligators – it’s dangerous and illegal. When fed, alligators overcome their natural wariness and learn to associate people with food and it also alters their natural diet in an unhealthy way.

The bottom line is keep children and pets away from alligators – remember they are wild animals.  Enjoy the experience of seeing these fascinating creatures as part of the natural beauty of the South Carolina area but always keep a safe distance.

By: Cinda Seamon – Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue

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