FL wildlife officials: Leave the gators alone

Posted by Sheli Muniz - email 

NAPLES, FL (WFLX) - Beware of gators: Florida wildlife officials want residents to be safe and use "common sense" around water.

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist, Lindsey Hord, says people should swim only in designated areas, keep their pets away from the water's edge, refrain from feeding alligators, maintain a safe distance, and leave the gators alone.

There have been six alligator bites so far this year, and 19 last year.

Hord says adult male alligators tend to prefer open water areas, like canals and lakes, where people usually swim. Females are found in marshy areas which are better for the survival of their young.

Female alligators are nesting now, but Hord says there's no link between breeding, nesting and alligator bites.

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