Do I need to worry about alligators in Florida?
Although many Floridians have learned to coexist with alligators, the potential for conflict always exists. Serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida, but if you are concerned about an alligator, call FWC's toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286.
Florida alligator bite statistics date back to 1948, ranging around three major bites per year. The chance of someone being attacked is one in 3.2 million.
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.
The Florida conservation commission said in November 2021 there were 442 unprovoked alligator bites in Florida from 1948 to 2021, averaging six a year. Of those bites, 26 were fatal, meaning there was one fatal injury nearly every three years in the state.
Some of the more popular areas in Central Florida that aren't occupied by alligators or sharks are freshwater spring-fed rivers. Some of these may include: Ichetucknee Springs, Madison Blue Spring, Withlacoochee, and Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail.
According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, Lake George near the St. Johns River in northwest Florida has the most, with more than 2,300. Lake Kissimmee near Orlando comes in second with just shy of 2,000.
If you find yourself being chased by an alligator: Run away in a straight line: As soon as an alligator begins to move toward you, it's time to start running. Running away in a straight line will put the most distance between you and the gator in the shortest amount of time.
Do not allow your dogs or children to swim in waters inhabited by alligators, or to drink or play at the water's edge. To an alligator, a splash potentially means a food source is in the water. It is best to avoid swimming in areas that are known habitats for large alligators but at the least, never swim alone.
There are statistics focused on alligator bites in Florida dating back to 1948, with an average of three major attacks per year. There were more than two dozen deaths out of 442 unprovoked attacks between 1948 and 2021, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Alligators appear in multiple places around the continental United States, but they're most predominantly known for living in Florida because of the Everglades and many swamps. But gators don't stay confined to the swampy areas. They can be found roaming pretty much all over the state.
Do the beaches in Florida have alligators?
— Thousands flock to Florida every year to relax on the sunshine state's beaches, and apparently even alligators can't resist them!
- Leave alligators alone. Alligators are shy animals that usually avoid human contact.
- Pay attention. ...
- Do not feed alligators. ...
- Throw fish scraps into trash cans. ...
- Follow directions on signs. ...
- Swim during daylight hours only. ...
- Stay with children. ...
- Keep an eye on your pets.
Although gators spend most of their time in fresh water, they “can tolerate salt water for a few hours or even days,” according to the National Ocean Service. Sightings tend to increase in the spring during mating season, the FWC said. If you see a gator, “keep your distance,” the FWC told WBBH.