(September 18, 2018)- Alligators and Crocodiles
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) advise that alligators become more active during hotter weather and therefore residents may see them more often than usual. Due to receiving a few calls over the past few weeks we want the public to be aware of some safety tips. There are more than 1.25 million alligators in Florida and some of these alligators and crocodiles call the more than 400 miles of canal (mostly brackish and fresh water) their home.
If you see an alligator, LEAVE IT ALONE!
Do not attempt to get close! If you want to take pictures or video do it from afar.
Do not feed an alligator, it’s actually illegal! Florida State Statute 372.667 advises: No person shall intentionally feed, or entice with feed, any wild American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) or American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). A person in violation commits a misdemeanor of the second degree. This can also cause the alligator to associate feeding with humans.
It is also illegal to intentionally kill, injure, possess, or capture an alligator; Florida State Statute 372.663 advises: It is unlawful to intentionally kill, injure, possess, or capture, or attempt to kill, injure, possess, or capture, an alligator or other crocodilian, or the eggs of an alligator or other crocodilian. A person in violation of this commits felony of the third degree. This does not include during the protection of life.
Always be aware of your surroundings especially when you are near one of our many Cape Coral canals or other bodies of water. Do not let small children play unattended near water and do not allow your pets near water. Pets, like dogs, are in more danger of an alligator attack then humans.
A fence that is four feet tall can help keep an alligator out of your yard; yes, an alligator can climb! But like a recent event in Cape Coral, the bottom of the fence has to also be secured or the alligator can lift the bottom up and get underneath.
The FWC recommends:
"If you do find yourself in the extremely unlikely position of avoiding a lunging alligator, you should run in a straight line away from the alligator and its habitat, which is where the alligator will most likely retreat to. Regardless of how fast alligators can run, you should never approach an alligator that is on land."
For the most part, if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you! If you have a concern for the public safety involving an alligator please call the Cape Coral Police Department.
For more information you can visit FWCs website for Frequently Asked Questions about alligators here.
CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341