Now that our weather is heating up, alligators are becoming more active, increasing the chance of alligator sightings and encounters.
Just last weekend, a 12-foot long alligator was killed after wandering onto I-275 in St. Petersburg according to . In April, Brandon Patch Editor Linda Chion Kennedy that wandered onto Hillsborough Community College's satellite campus at The Regent.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is reminding everyone to be cautious while in the water and around the water because of the increased alligator activity this time of the year.
FWC Alligator Safety Tips
- Generally, alligators are less than 4 feet in length are not large enough to be dangerous unless handled. However, if you encounter any alligator that you believe poses a threat to people, pets or property call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWCGATOR (866-392-4286).
- Be aware of the possibility of alligators when you are in or near fresh or brackish water. Bites may occur when people do not pay close enough attention to their surroundings when working or recreating near water.
- Do not swim outside of posted swimming areas or in waters that might be inhabited by large alligators.
- Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn. Therefore, avoid swimming at night.
- Dogs and cats are similar in size to the natural prey of alligators. Don’t allow pets to swim, exercise or drink in or near waters that may contain alligators. Dogs often attract an alligator’s interest, so do not swim with your dog.
- Leave alligators alone. State law prohibits killing, harassing or possessing alligators. Handling even small alligators can result in injury.
More helpful information-