Monday, March 30, 2009

Be Careful Of Alligators!

Spring Is Alligator's Active Season

LABELLE, FL. -- Spring is when Florida's alligators start getting active, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is urging Floridians and visitors to be cautious when having fun in and around water.

Alligators abound in all 67 counties and have shared marshes, swamps, rivers and lakes with people for centuries.  But, because more individuals are seeking waterfront property and water-related activities increase during the warm months, people should be alert when they are in areas where alligators could be present.

(photo: Alligator in Port LaBelle yard)

State law prohibits the harassing of alligators, and it is against the law to feed them. 

The FWC recommends supervising children closely when they are playing in or around water.  There are other precautionary measures people should take to reduce potential conflicts with alligators, and they are available in the "Living with Alligators" brochure at

The FWC annually receives more than 16,000 alligator-related complaints.  The agency removes about 8,500 alligators each year when the reptiles present potential danger to people or property.

According to the FWC, if you encounter an alligator that poses a threat to you, your pets or your property, and the alligator is more than 4 feet long, call the FWC's toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (392-4286).  The telephone number is the primary contact for all alligator complaints and is available to customers 24 hours a day.

Alligators are an important part of Florida's heritage and play a valuable role in the ecosystems where they live.  For more information on alligator behavior, go to

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