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A Guide to Preventing Rare But Fatal Alligator Attacks

A Guide to Preventing Rare But Fatal Alligator Attacks

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Heres a guide to prevent rare but fatal alligator attacks in Florida

Alligators are usually harmless when they bite humans, though when they do it can be fatal.

Here are a few steps you can take to help protect yourself against an alligator attack in Florida, which unfortunately occurs quite rarely. We hope these tips will keep you safe.

Don’t Feed

Failing to feed or entice alligators can be considered a Class C misdemeanor and could put them in danger of attacking people. Altering their natural diet by feeding or enticing them increases their vulnerability for aggression towards humans.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that alligators have a natural fear of humans. Furthermore, they cannot tell the difference between human food sources and wild ones, potentially leading them to consume someone or their pet if they become hungry.

With the state's growing population and residents increasingly seeking waterfront properties, more gator sightings are becoming common. Some people even report seeing them creep into their front yards or swimming pools!

Reports of alligators wandering into communities have been widespread, such as this 11-footer found on a lawn in The Villages last week. Furthermore, a school in Ponte Vedra Beach recently caught a six-foot long gator on campus.

No matter where you live in Florida, feeding alligators is strictly forbidden. Not only does this pose a danger to both people and gators alike, but it may also create issues for those looking to use the water for recreational activities.

Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn, so it is best to swim only during daylight hours. Furthermore, protect yourself and others by not cleaning fish or leaving scraps of bait on the shore or in the water.

Don’t Get Too Close

Avoid getting too close to an alligator at any cost. These large reptiles are predators and can do serious harm if they decide to attack someone.

Many attacks occur on land, but it's also possible to get too close to alligators in water. Walking near a retention pond, for instance, you run the risk that an alligator may leap out and attack you.

Although alligators are not natural predators, they can become aggressive when threatened or think you might try to take their food. Although not deadly by nature, alligators have the capacity to attack and even kill humans if provoked; however, they tend to be less vicious than some other animals such as sharks.

Florida's abundance of alligators makes it a popular swimming spot, but it is essential to avoid swimming in any bodies of water that contain these creatures - including retention ponds. Gators tend to be more aggressive in fresh or brackish water, which could pose risks for swimmers.

Experts advise that if you get too close to an alligator, run away in a straight line. Contrary to popular belief, zigzagging does not make the situation any better as it slows your movement and increases risk.

When an alligator gets close to you, its powerful jaws will clamp down and begin what's known as a death roll - twisting and rolling their victim until they are dead. They have also been known to bite the eyes, snout and neck of victims according to Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Luckily if an alligator gets too close for comfort, you can defend yourself by hitting its snout or eyes with your hands; this should cause it to scream or splash in order for it to realize it must leave you alone.

Don’t Touch

In addition to the potential risk of death or injury, touching an alligator is a violation of Florida law and could result in up to $5000 in fines. This Class C misdemeanor offense occurs frequently around waterways.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 442 people have been bitten by alligators since 1948 - 26 of them died. With an odds of being bitten of one in 3.1 million and a chance of dying from an alligator at around one in 200,000, these statistics provide some comfort.

If an alligator is threatening you, run in a straight line and attempt to maintain distance. When close enough, the alligator may hiss and act aggressively.

Be careful when approaching an alligator that's basking in the water or near any shorelines - such as lakes, streams, or ponds. These animals may be trying to warm themselves or may be defending their territory.

When an alligator attacks, you must fight back with all your might. Poke its eyes, shove an arm down its throat or punch the end of its sensitive snout to trigger its gag reflex.

It is essential to remember that life is precious, and you should fight as if your life depended on it.

Recent events in Plant Park, Orlando involved a man being caught feeding an alligator by the water's edge. As it hissed and tried to defend its territory, authorities took notice.

Don’t Swim

Alligators can be deadly when they bite, so it's best to steer clear of the water when possible. If you do end up in it, run away as quickly as possible in a straight line.

Additionally, never feed alligators as this can make them lose their fear of humans and become more aggressive. That is why it is against the law to do so according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulations.

Be wary of alligator bites, as their teeth can take on up to 3,000 points of pressure - more than what a shark can achieve.

Even with all that power, unprovoked alligator attacks remain relatively rare in the United States. In fact, the odds of becoming seriously injured from an unprovoked alligator attack is only one in every 3.1 million.

Florida is the most common site of alligator attacks, but they can also be found elsewhere. Alabama, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Arkansas have all seen at least one death due to gator attacks recently.

In breeding season, alligators may become more aggressive and more likely to eat people. Thus, it is essential to know how to prevent these rare but deadly incidents from happening. Here are a few tips that can help keep you safe:

Don’t Pet

Alligators can be found in all 67 Florida counties, usually near fresh water bodies such as rivers, lakes, retention ponds and golf greens. Unfortunately, they tend to be shy animals that avoid human contact.

Alligator attacks are rare, but they do happen. In 2016, a two-year-old boy died from an attack at a Florida resort; another case saw a woman drown after being grabbed by an alligator while bathing in a lagoon in Citrus County.

These animals are powerful reptiles that can bite you, with up to 3,000 psi of force. If they get you and you can't escape, they could take you underwater where they could snatch your arm or leg, or throw you into a so-called "death roll," which involves spinning around until drowning.

If you are bit, the best strategy is to make as much noise as possible and work hard to escape. If the alligator grabs you underwater, try rolling with it but be aware that this could cause your arm or leg to become trapped between its jaws, potentially leading to fractures.

Alligators tend to be naturally fearful of humans, but they can be easily lured in by food, trash and other tempting objects that could appear as easy prey for them. That is why it is so essential for you to follow these tips and keep alligators out of your life!

Don’t Go in the Water

Here's a guide to avoiding potential fatal alligator attacks in Florida:

When boating, kayaking or canoeing, always stay at least 10 feet from the water's edge. If a reptile attempts to take you under, fight back and seek assistance immediately.

Alligators are predators and they hunt a variety of prey items, such as crawfish, shrimp, spiders, insects, minnows and crabs. Alligators tend to be more active at dusk and dawn so it is best to avoid going in the water during these times.

When swimming, try to stay in open waters like lakes or ponds. Additionally, using a life preserver can help shield you from getting bitten.

Another reason to stay out of the water is that alligators can spread an infection called cellulitis, caused by bacteria found in saltwater. If you feel like getting sick after swimming in the ocean, contact your doctor right away.

Alligators are most active during warm weather months, moving from one area to another in search of a breeding ground and food sources. Although the risk of being bitten by an alligator is small, it's better to be safe than sorry!

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