As people still tremble over the images of the recent sad news, wildlife experts come with advice on how to keep safe in the water and to avoid alligator attacks.
Florida registers a record number of fatal attacks, with 26 deaths in the last 50 years. Other incidents were reported in Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina.
The specialists highlight the fact that alligators must be treated as wild animals and respected as such.
For instance, an alligator must never be fed. Leaving them food may make them bolder and increases the chance of them looking for humans. Moreover, it is a bad idea to feed other animals in the presence of an alligator, as they will also associate humans with food. All animal residuals must be kept away from the alligator’s habitat.
Another suggestion is to stay at a distance of at least 60 feet when encountering the predator. If the animal starts to hiss or it lunges, the distance should be larger.
The idea that zigzag running will confuse the alligator is just a myth, as the animal will run straight. And it is also very fast.
Female alligators can easily become aggressive when provoked. This is the case with approaching their babies, and even if the mother cannot be seen, she is usually very close.
Another important rule is to keep pets and children away from alligators, as they treat all small creatures as food.
The predators also interpret a splash in the water as an indication for food. Thus, the rule is to avoid swimming in their habitats. Heavy vegetation near the water also needs to be avoided.
In case a person meets an alligator, the best thing to do is to move away slowly as to not appear to be a threat. Running is always an option and also screaming – alligators, like many other animals, don’t like human voices.
In case of alligator attacks, a person should fight and strike the soft parts of the alligator. Usually the animals bite and then let go, and bite again. These pauses should be used to fight back and run.
There are two species of crocodilians in the US. One is the common crocodile, with brown skin and a V-shaped jaw, and the other is the alligator, which has darker skin and a U-shaped jaw. Adults have 6 feet in length, and they weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
American alligators live from Florida up to North Carolina and on west up to Texas. They prefer freshwater habitats, among which wetlands, swamps, rivers, ponds, and lakes.
The male alligators are especially active in the spring, a period when they tend to leave their habitats and wonder in human populated areas while looking for a mate.
Alligators are very dangerous to humans because they can strike faster than a person can react. Their bite is extremely powerful and may result in fatal infections.
Image Source: YouTube
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