Sunday, May 3, 2015

Alligators in Florida?

I work with a lot of people moving from areas other than Florida. A question that I hear frequently is, "are there alligators in Florida?" Usually this question is asked with a very frightened look on their face. I answer and try to alleviate their fear.  

Alligators are native to Florida.  Most freshwater ponds, lakes, and rivers (including wetlands) are home to alligators.  They also have been known to live in and near brackish (salty-fresh water combination that occurs in estuaries) water.
One of many beautiful ponds in Florida.  No alligator in this photo, but the pond is home to at least one alligator.

People who live in Florida have seen alligators living in the wild. It is very common to see a pond with an alligator swimming in it. There is an alligator in the pond near my home. Most Floridians are not frightened of alligators because alligators usually live quietly in ponds or lakes and rarely bother people.  

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the alligator diet includes prey that is abundant and easily accessible. Alligator information in this post is from:

Young alligators eat insects, amphibians (i.e. frogs), small fish and other invertebrates.  Mature alligators eat larger fish, snakes, turtles, small mammals, and birds.  

I tell people who are new to Florida:  

If you live on or near a wetland in Florida (many people do)
DO NOT allow your small pets to wander near the water.

As stated, alligators eat what is accessible.  They rarely leave their pond/water to hunt.  Most of what they need to survive lives in or near the pond.  If your dog or cat is accessible...they can be prey for the alligator.  As a Florida homeowner, you need to know this.  If you are a cautious pet owner, you should not have a problem with alligators.  

Alligators do need the Florida sun to warm their body temperature. Frequently, you will see an alligator sunning itself on the land beside the water where it lives.  The alligator usually means no harm to people. 
This alligator lays in the sun on the bank of a neighborhood pond


Alligators can bite and even a small alligator bite can result in injury or infection.  

In your previous home location, you may have been able to swim in a nearby lake or pond.  Pond swimming is not recommended in Florida. Alligators are native to Florida.  They are here, but you need not be too frightened.  Allow them to live in their habitat without disturbing them. Soon, as a Florida homeowner, you will be able to tell your visitors about these interesting animals.  If you want to see alligators up close, I recommend going to Lowry Park Zoo or Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.  Let's talk, I will tell you about other Florida locations for visitors to see Florida alligators up close in their natural habitat.  

If you want to swim, head to the beautiful Florida beaches or the swimming pool at home or nearby.  It would be extremely rare to find an alligator in a pool or beach/gulf/ocean.

If you have any questions about alligators or finding a great home in Florida, let's talk.  

You may contact me by e-mail:  Diane at

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