Friday, January 27, 2023

Alert of increase in the number of crocodiles in Florida, America; Notice of sighting in residential areas

Usually when people think of crocodiles, they associate it with the Amazon or Australia. However, American alligators do exist and a few have recently been sighted on Sanibel and an eight-foot alligator in Brevard County on Florida’s east coast.

According to officials, more are likely to be seen as development continues to expand in the Sunshine State. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates that the number of alligators in Florida has declined from an estimate of 300 in 1975 to between 1,500 and 2,000 adults.

The Florida population of this native species is listed as threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Florida is facing an increasing number of complaints about nuisance gators. – Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

With an increasing number of alligators near where people live, Florida is facing an increasing number of complaints about nuisance alligators.

In fact, alligators have been reported in recent days as far north as Hillsborough and Pinellas counties on Florida’s west coast, as far as Brevard County on the east coast.

While they are primarily found along coasts in brackish water habitats, including mangrove-lined ponds and streams, Florida’s canal system may entice them to move further inland, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife, and they have been seen at freshwater sites.

Thanks to this increase of alligators in residential areas, people have a common question: Are American alligators aggressive? American alligators are known to be shy and reclusive.

Since crocodiles are cold-blooded, they can be seen sunbathing. If surprised, they will quickly (and noisily) enter the water, It shows that they were scared. Crocodiles usually enter the water silently.

Alligators can also be seen basking in the sun with their mouths open, regulating their body temperature or moving between warm and cool areas in the water.

What is the difference between crocodile and alligator?

Crocodile:

  • Gray green colour.
  • When the mouth is closed, the fourth tooth in the lower jaw opens.
  • Narrow conical snout.
  • The young are lighter with darker stripes.

Alligator:

  • black.
  • Only the upper teeth are exposed when the mouth is closed.
  • Broad and rounded muzzle.
  • The young are darker with yellow streaks.

What do crocodiles eat?

How to stay safe around crocodiles?

The presence of a crocodile is not of immediate concern, said FWC. Often the best course of action is to leave the alligator alone.

People can safely live with alligators by following these tips:

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas.
  • Swim alone during the day. Crocodiles are most active between dusk and dawn.
  • Do not allow pets to swim, exercise, or drink water that may contain alligators, as they are similar to natural alligator prey. Always keep pets a safe distance from water.
  • Use a fence or other barrier to separate pets and family members from alligators.
  • Leave the crocodiles alone. State and federal laws prohibit killing, harassing, or possessing alligators.
  • Always keep a safe distance from alligators when viewing or photographing them.
  • Never feed a crocodile, it is illegal. While feeding, crocodiles can become habituated to people and are more likely to become a nuisance.
  • Disposal of fish remains only in designated waste containers. Throwing leftover water into the water can attract crocodiles.
  • Feeding other aquatic wildlife such as turtles, ducks, and fish may also attract alligators by attracting potential prey animals.

What to do if there is a crocodile in the house? People concerned about gators should call the FWC at 866-392-4286 (866-FWC-GATOR).

Nation World News Desk
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