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Alligator 101

Learn some quick tips about our gator friends and what to do if you see one!


  1. Warm temperatures mean alligators are more active.

  2. Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn.

  3. Avoid swimming after dusk.

  4. Never feed an alligator.

  5. Alligators can move incredibly quickly. Stay back at least 30 feet from the alligator Hint: If you hear hissing you’re definitely too close.

  6. Understand their habitats. Alligators prefer to be in the sun along the banks of water.

  7. Try to avoid piles of grasses, twigs and disturbed soil near the water’s edge. It could possibly be an alligator nest, and females will get aggressive to protect it.

  8. Swim only in designated swimming areas during daylight hours. Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn.

  9. Keep pets on a leash and away from the water’s edge and never let them swim in fresh or brackish water even for short periods of time. Pets often resemble alligators’ natural prey. Allowing your pet in the water for even short periods to cool off or play can result in its death.


If you see a gator roaming around your neighbor streets, you can contact FWC's Alligator Nuisance Line at: 1-888-FWC-GATOR.


Feeding alligators is illegal and dangerous! If observed: FWC’s Wildlife Alert at 888-404-FWCC.