Don’t Try to Touch the Aligator

They are not there for your entertainment. Woman killed by alligator in SC was doing homeowner’s nails.

The woman attacked and killed by an alligator in a gated community along the South Carolina coast was visiting the homeowner to do her nails and was trying to touch the animal when it grabbed her, authorities said.

After briefly getting away from the alligator Friday, the woman stood in waist deep water in the Kiawah Island pond and said “I guess I wont do this again,” but the alligator grabbed her in its jaws again and took her under

This is a tragedy, but it is also the kind of thing I write about too often. Less than once per year, but still too often. Disney has convinced Americans that wild animals are really all these cute and cuddly creatures that want to be our friends. They aren’t.

I’ve seen stories of people killed by bears and alligators, people who have climbed over barricades at zoos, usually to get that perfect selfie, or some other insanity, and more. I haven’t seen a story about anyone being killed by feral hogs, but as the picture at this Daley Gator post indicates, they are not little piggies, and while you might stop the big guy in that photo with high powered rifle, if you’re unarmed, you might just be in trouble. (Look closely; one of the pictures is of hogs.)

And here is a link to SiGraybeard’s post from last year on how not to get killed by an alligator. People in Florida might have a bit more experience with gators, than those in South Carolina, but this isn’t about geography.

“Golfing in Florida is just different…”

Florida Man plays golf. Video: Golfer not fazed by 7-foot alligator walking across Central Florida golf course.

Professional wakeboarder Steel Lafferty was spending his day golfing in Osceola County when a 7-foot-long alligator crossed right in front of him.

The video is less than a minute long, and worth a look. Click thru.

I think every Florida golfer has an alligator-in-the-water-hazard story. I know all of the ones I know do, and they love to share them.

Nature Doesn’t Care How You Feel

Hard to be surprised about this. Florida Woman Says Large Alligator Ate Her 100-Pound Dog.

Robinson says she took her dog off his leash to sit on a bench and the dog was running in and out of the water when the gator snatched it.

SiGraybeard said it best.

  1. Keep your pets away from the water, especially small white dogs or cats. [snip]
  2. 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.

Another story on the gator/dog incident says the gator was “removed.” Not sure if that’s a euphemism for killed or not. The gator was 11 feet 3 inches long and weighed in at 400 pounds, according to the trapper.

(And at the link to SiGraybeard is an image of a pamphlet sent out by the State of Florida on dealing with gators.)

Alligators in the News

Gators in Miami. Gators in the Midwest. Lots of gators in the news lately.

The alligator that made headlines in Chicago a few weeks back was captured and sent to Florida. Alligator found in Humboldt Park Lagoon gets full health exam at University of Florida.

Veterinarians said the gator, nicknamed “Chance the Snapper” by Chicagoans, seemed to be in good health after his exam, but they won’t know for sure until his blood work comes back from review.

Another gator in the Midwest – this one in Michigan. Michigan man fatally shoots alligator that lunged at him on rural property.

According to the Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office, the alligator escaped from a fenced enclosure at a nearby property where an exotic animal rescue was operating, WSBT reported.

And a “rumor” of a gator in Oklahoma. Is there an alligator in Lake Thunderbird?.

Facebook user Jackie Dawson shared an image that she said her niece took of an alligator in Lake Thunderbird.

Keith Thomas, Fisheries Biologist for Lake Thunderbird said there is nothing official on the supposed sighting right now, but the game warden and state park officials are looking into it.

A 9-foot gator in Miami isn’t usually news. Alligator spotted in SW Miami-Dade leaves community concerned.

A witness spotted the 9-foot gator in the area of Southwest 57th Avenue and 34th Street at around 6:30 a.m. while he was on his way to work.

And another 9-foot gator in Coral Gables. Giant Alligator Captured After It Takes Stroll Down Coral Gables Sidewalk. (And 9 feet really doesn’t qualify as “giant.”)

Video of the gator, which is about 9-feet long, was first posted on the social media site @OnlyInDade.

Alligators – It’s That Time of Year

Alligators in Pittsburgh?

A couple of small gators turned up in Pittsburgh of all places. Where Will They Go? The Fate Of Pittsburgh’s Recently Discovered Alligators.

First came Frankie off the shoreline of the Mon River on the Southside. Then came Chomp the Magic Gator (names given by Humane employees) in all his five feet of glory from Beechview. Then came the call to Humane Animal Rescue’s Sarah Shively on Saturday night.

The latest one is small. Couple of feet. (As yet, he remains unnamed.) The video is entertaining if not particularly informative. (State of the news media today.)

And why is the London media so enthralled with gators? Amazon worker returns from a night shift to find 6ft long alligator blocking the doorway to his Florida home.

‘When you get home from a 10 hour overnight shift at 6am to find THIS sitting on your doorstep,’ he wrote, alongside the hashtags #floridalife and #floridapets.

What Would You Do If You Found a Gator in Your Kitchen?

And I don’t mean a member of The University of Florida football team. Yikes! 11-Foot Alligator Breaks Into Florida Home.

An 11 foot gator broke through a window and got into the kitchen of a house in Clearwater.

The homeowner says it went straight for the wine and broke several bottles.

Another photo shows the mess it made in the kitchen, after knocking over a table and chairs.

The photos are good.

Other alligators in Florida news… May 31st one was outside a Venice, FL drugstore. May 23rd Collier County police had one in the road which needed removal. May 3rd there was a gator interfering with mail deliver in Winter Gardens. Lastly, there is video of a gator out for a stroll in Fort Meyers on April 12th.

Alligators in the News

It’s the time of year that gators are on the move.

Video of a 9-foot gator being captured in Florida. ‘Massive’ Florida alligator does ‘death roll’ during ‘wrestling match’ with officers near school bus stop.

Gators moving north? (I blame Global Warming.) Heavy rain and floods send a 9-foot alligator fleeing into Arkansas farmland.

But after rainstorms in Missouri and Iowa caused nearby rivers to rise, a family in Northeast Arkansas stumbled upon a 9-foot alligator far from its natural habitat — in their rice field.

They weren’t able to catch it, and it escaped into a wooded area.

Louisiana gets in on the gator act. YIKES: Alligator spotted on the beach in Grand Isle.

And a relatively small gator in Texas. Gator ‘rescued’ from train tracks in Texas town.

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.

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.

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.)

When you see a sign about alligators in Florida, believe it.

And even when you don’t see a sign, you can be pretty sure that alligators are in fresh water. That means lakes, ponds and rivers. Woman loses arm in alligator attack in Florida river | myfox8.com

A sign warns swimmers that there are gators and snakes in the area.

The Wekiva River is north of Orlando, and at least part of it is in a state park.

Wherever you see fresh water or brackish in Florida, you can be pretty sure there are gators. Wherever you see salt water you can be damn sure there are sharks. And in the salt water off the Everglades park you can probably find the American Crocodile, making a comeback after years on the endangered species list.