Springtime in Florida Means Alligators

Or the usual. Plus a bonus story in which a Brit admits he and his family completely ignore the reality of alligators in Florida. And are lucky no one died. (And it isn’t like the gators go away in summer, fall, or winter.) Oh, and don’t go swimming in random bits of fresh water in Florida.

That 3-foot fence is not going to keep the gators out of the pool. 9-foot alligator found in Florida family’s swimming pool.

Everybody wants to hang out at the house with the swimming pool.

And the Daily Mail (which loves to cover alligators in Florida) has pictures and video of the 9ft “monster.”

A slightly smaller gator busted through a screen onto an screened in patio. Florida family surprised by alligator at 2 a.m..

Turns out an alligator measuring about 8 feet long had torn through the family’s lanai screen and was camped out on the back porch, according to the Fort Myers Police Department.

Don’t EVER Get in the water in Florida Everglades. EVER. EastEnders star Jake Wood reveals his wife was almost KILLED by an alligator during family holiday in Florida… leaving his children ‘scarred for life’. (Also the Daily Mail.)

The star said it was only when they returned to the boat hire shop and told their story to a staff member – who said they would never go into the water due to the ‘man-eater’ alligators – that they realised how lucky Alison had been.

Darwin missed out on that one. (And Godzilla gets the nod on the facepalm, because reptile.)

To quote SiGraybeard

Don’t go swimming if you know there are gators in the water. Corollary: if your map says “Florida” on it, and you’re in fresh water, there are gators in there. If it’s brackish or saltwater, there might be crocodiles with you.

And the Everglade are a “nature preserve” where gators – and other predators – thrive.

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Alligators in the News

I guess it must be spring. Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission started it, and SiGraybeard brought it to my attention. So then I went looking. Florida has most of the stories, which is not surprising.

Cops had to keep school kids getting off a bus separated from a gator who came out of a nearby lake. Alligator removed from Florida school bus stop.

Another gator was in a business park. 12-foot, nearly 750-pound alligator trapped in South Florida

Savannah, Georgia gets in the act as golfers were surprised when an alligator decided to stroll across a green. ‘That is a monster!’ Massive alligator stops play at Georgia golf course. Though at 9 feet, I don’t consider it too monstrous, as gators go.

And finally there is “Dead gators for science.” Or something. Why A Scientist Dropped Dead Alligators In The Gulf Of Mexico. I’m sure tax dollars were involved.

There are more stories. Keep them in mind if you visit Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi or Texas.

Alligators in the Water, and Other Florida Stories

I haven’t done a “There are gators in Florida (and not the University team)” post this year. So let’s leave it to someone in Florida. A Florida Lizard … Wait….

Apparently the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is spending taxpayer money to teach Floridians about alligators. OK. It isn’t the Floridians who (mostly) get into trouble. But they have to spend their budget on something.

They talk about pets around water, but the incident that people probably remember is the one from a few years ago where a kid was killed at Disney World playing in the water at a place marked “No Swimming.” When you see a “No Swimming” sign, stay COMPLETELY out of the water, and away from the edge. Even at Disney World or wherever, there can be alligators in the ponds. Actually there probably is an alligator in that pond.

SiGraybeard expands on their stuff a bit.

  1. Don’t go swimming if you know there are gators in the water. Corollary: if your map says “Florida” on it, and you’re in fresh water, there are gators in there. If it’s brackish or saltwater, there might be crocodiles with you. Yeah, it’s riskier after dark because they are more active. It’s probably riskiest at sunrise and sunset. A few years ago, a burglary suspect in nearby Palm Bay decided to hide from police in a lake. It was early morning, like 2AM. The gators said “thanks for the meals on wheels” and ate the guy. Just kidding. They just killed him and ate pieces.

Aside from the fresh water alligators, and the brackish water crocodiles, if you are swimming on an ocean beach in Florida, then there are probably sharks swimming just a little farther out than you are. (Which is why I like to stay in the boat whenever I can.)

SiGraybeard has some additional thoughts, and to some links to related news stories – like the guy who got his hand bitten off feeding a gator and then was charged with feeding a gator, which is a crime in Florida. And also Really Stupid.

Anyway, if you are taking a trip to Florida, exercise some caution. You aren’t in the Midwest or the desert or a city. The wildlife is a bit different than you’re used to. Alligators are ambush predators. They can climb trees, though the big ones usually won’t do so. (There’s a photo of one going over a fence if you click that link at the top of this post.) They can move faster than you over short distances. They have killed people from time to time in the past few years.

It’s a Good Thing Canadians Are Disarmed

One of them might have shot the cougars attacking a kid. Four-year-old boy in serious condition, two cougars killed after attack near Lake Cowichan.

Oh, the cougars were killed anyway, just much later, when the authorities, “The only ones authorized to have firearms” arrived to not quite save the day.

A four-year-old boy is in serious condition with injuries to his head, neck and arms after being mauled by at least one cougar near Lake Cowichan.

Now guns in the hands of the parents may not have saved this kid, but being unarmed in an area populated with big cats seems crazy to me.

So glad that gun control is keeping the cougars safe from otherwise-armed adults.

And the most convoluted, unclear sentence of the week award goes to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

“It’s fairly serious,” said RCMP Cpl. Chris Manseau. “It’s not completely uncommon, but still very, very rare, just a dangerous situation for everyone.”

Myths and Statistics and Bear Attacks

37 instances probably doesn’t rise to the number required for a good statistical analysis. But it is interesting. Pistols or Handguns 95% Effective When Used to Defend Against Bear Attacks, 63 Cases.

We found five cases involving a .22 rimfire pistol. Four were successful, against black bears. One failed against a polar bear.

One of the successful .22 LR incidents involved an assist from the guy’s dog, which distracted the black bear, and let me reload after 10 shots.

As the dogs fought the sow, Earl reloaded. Then, as the sow came at him again, he fired 10 more shots from his Ruger .22 pistol. The dogs distracted the sow once more. The fight moved into a thicket. The sow was found there, dead from two .22 rounds that had reached her vitals. There were 14 .22 caliber holes in her.

An interesting read.

I’m Sure Some Animal Rights Activist is Crying

Because the authorities had to shoot the gator. Knock, knock: Massive gator startles Merritt Island homeowner.

So a 10 foot plus gator was pounding on someone’s door.

Two neighbors tried wrestling the gator but couldn’t, so they called 911.

A trapper removed the gator, which weighed 350 pounds.

Would have been simpler if the homeowner shot the gator, but at least someone did. (And you have to watch the video to get all the info – it is not included in the written article.)

Gators In Florida – Not the University Mascot, But the Real Ones

The article is of course from a state other than Florida. (This particular article is from Georgia.) Because Floridians (mostly) know there are gators. Gators gone wild: 2018 was their year in Florida.

One could say 2018 was the year of the gator, and we’re not talking about the University of Florida football team.

Everything from the Home Owners Association who wouldn’t let a woman have an alligator removed from her back yard (where her young son plays.) To the 15-year-old girl trapped in a tree for 30 minutes, by an 11-foot-alligator, before a deputy dispatched the gator with an AR-15. And many more in between. (Like the 85-year-old who had his foot bitten a couple of weeks ago.)

Every couple of years, someone doesn’t realize (or believe) that there are alligators in the fresh water. There are alligators in the fresh water. At golf clubs. Along the side of highways. In parks where you are walking your dog. At amusement parks. You should plan your activities accordingly.

You also know the story above is from a happy news station, because they don’t include what was the worst gator attack of 2018.

The video below is ABC News coverage of a fatal alligator attack in Florida, from about 6 or 7 months ago. Alligators can be aggressive in the summer – females are territorial when they are defending nests.

Never walk along waterways in Florida with small children or pets, this time of year; they can be mistaken for prey.

Though some would say you’re the one making the mistake. (You are only an apex predator when you are armed.)