Feeding the alligators

Now the weather is warming up, we're seeing more of our crocodilian neighbors. This can be alarming for some, especially those who are new to Florida. But alligators inhabit all 67 counties of our state, and they can be found anywhere there is standing water.

Fortunately, alligators are typically shy and avoid human contact, and attacks on humans are rare.

Alligators are our neighbors

Here are some co-existence tips:

 Pay heed to your surroundings, including what’s up ahead.
 Keep your distance if you see an alligator!
 Leave alligators alone…NEVER try to get close to see or take a photo!
 Do not allow your dogs or children to swim in waters inhabited by alligators.
 NEVER let children play unattended near water.
 NEVER FEED an alligator, even a baby alligator!
 Never disturb nests or small alligators.

If You Need to Report a Nuisance Alligator call: 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286). The Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) will dispatch one of its contracted nuisance alligator trappers to resolve the situation.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will not remove an alligator simply because it is inhabiting one of our retention ponds. They will only remove those that show signs of aggressive behavior and posing a threat.

And remember, once an alligator is removed, another will take it's place.

Don't break the law!

The FWC urges people to keep their distance and to never feed alligators because it is dangerous and illegal.

There has been concern about one of our residents feeding an alligator. This must not happen. Feeding alligators makes them lose their natural fear of us, and they end up approaching us when they normally wouldn't.

What happens to alligators removed by the FWC? They are not relocated. They are euthanized. So, by feeding an alligator, you could be giving it a death sentence.

Want to know more about living next to alligators?

Watch this short video on why we should never feed alligators. You can also check out the FWC website.