What You Need To Know
- If the alligator is approaching you or posing an obvious threat, wait a few days if possible – even up to a week – before contacting LDWF. Keep in mind, in spring and summer, alligators are moving to breed or find a new habitat. Most of the alligators moving around are smaller ones that have been pushed out of their normal habitat by larger alligators. Usually, these smaller alligators will move on in a week or two.
- If you hear an alligator hiss, it’s a warning that you are too close.
- Alligators have a natural fear of humans and usually begin a quick retreat when approached by people. If you have a close encounter with an alligator a few yards away, back away slowly. It is extremely rare for wild alligators to chase people, but they can run up to 35 miles per hour for short distances on land. Never make the mistake of thinking that an alligator is slow or lethargic. Alligators are extremely quick and agile and will defend themselves when cornered. A female protecting her nest might charge a person who gets close to the nest, but she will quickly return to the nest after the intruder leaves.
- It is not uncommon for alligators to bask along the banks of a pond or stream for extended periods of time. These alligators are usually warming their bodies; they are not actively hunting. Often, a basking alligator may be seen with its mouth open; this is a way to cool its body temperature down, since alligators do not pant or sweat. An approaching human should normally cause these alligators to retreat into the water. (In some cases, the alligator may be protecting a nest – see above.) However, an alligator may be considered a nuisance alligator if it leaves the banks of the water body to spend time near homes, livestock pens, or other structures.
For more information visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/nuisance-alligators
A Little Bit More About Alligators
Alligators prefer freshwater environments this is why you find them in Louisiana’s Bayous. There are two types living species of alligators: the American Alligator and the Chinese alligator, according to experts. American Alligators are very large reptiles with the males being about 14 feet long. The females are quite a bit smaller at about 10 feet in length. Alligators are usually of a blackish color and have wider, but shorter, U-shaped snouts. All of the Alligator’s upper teeth can still be seen when its mouth is closed.