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Snouts out and love is about as alligator mating season begins

Photo courtesy the National Park Service.
The American alligator is found in Florida. Photo courtesy the National Park Service.

Alligator mating season begins in the warmer months of May or June, as more people spend time outdoors enjoying the weather.

However, mating season does not necessarily make alligators more aggressive. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Lauren Claerbout said alligators are seen more by residents because of the warmer weather.

“Serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida, but it's even more rare for alligator mating and nesting to be associated with a human alligator conflict,”Claerbout said.

The FWC said Florida has averaged eight unprovoked bites per year that are serious enough to require professional medical treatment in the last decade.

“‘It's rare for alligator mating and nesting to be associated with human alligator conflict,” Claerbout said. “However, right now the weather is warming up, so alligators are more active and visible which does increase the potential for conflict.”

Claerbout advises people to be aware of their surroundings, keep watch of children and pets, never feed alligators, and swim only in designated areas during the day as gators are active at night.

Florida has alligators in each of the 67 counties, with a population estimate of 1.3 million alligators that roam Florida waters.

Alligators rarely bite people for reasons other than when food is involved. During mating and nesting season, the female alligators may hiss or frighten trespassers.

The FWC has a nuisance alligator hotline that is toll‐free at 1‐866‐FWC‐GATOR (392‐4286). The FWC’s Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program, or SNAP, “uses contracted nuisance alligator trappers throughout the state to remove alligators four feet in length or greater that are believed to pose a threat.”

Marian is a multimedia journalist at Central Florida Public Media working as a reporter and producer for the 'Are We There Yet?' space podcast.
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