FWC Offers Tips for Living With Alligators

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) urges people to keep their distance if they see one. And never feed alligators because it is dangerous and illegal.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) urges people to keep their distance if they see one. And never feed alligators because it is dangerous and illegal. (Photo: FWC)

SEBASTIAN – The American alligator is a conservation success story.

Florida has a healthy and stable alligator population, which is estimated at 1.3 million alligators of every size. They are an important part of Florida’s wetlands, but should be regarded with caution and respect.

Alligators become more active and visible during spring when temperatures rise and their metabolism increases. Although serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recommends taking precautions when having fun in and around the water.

Alligators inhabit all 67 counties in Florida and can be found anywhere there is standing water. Reduce the chances of conflicts with alligators by swimming only in designated swimming areas during daylight hours. Also keep pets on a leash and away from the water.

Because alligators control their body temperature by basking in the sun, they may be easily observed. However, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) urges people to keep their distance if they see one. And never feed alligators because it is dangerous and illegal.

Alligator tips by FWC.
Alligator tips by FWC.

The FWC places the highest priority on public safety and administers a Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program to address complaints concerning specific alligators. People concerned about an alligator should call the FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (392-4286).

SNAP uses contracted nuisance alligator trappers throughout the state to remove alligators 4 feet in length or greater that are believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property. The FWC also works diligently to keep Floridians and visitors informed, including providing advice about Living with Alligators.

Learn more about alligators at MyFWC.com/Alligator.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised in Jupiter, Florida. Andy has been a radio & TV personality since the 1980s. He has worked for WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. After spending 7 years in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1990s, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2000. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.