The Student News Site of South Broward High School
An+alligator+crossing+a+freeway.
An alligator crossing a freeway.

An alligator crossing a freeway.

An alligator crossing a freeway.

Florida’s Alligator Issue

We all know about the alligators thriving in Florida. They’re everywhere; ponds, marshes, lakes, etc. But what if I told

you alligators were appearing in swimming pools, lawns, and backyards? People finding 11-foot alligators in

swimming pools is way too common to be safe, and the fact that alligator attacks are rising is definitely no help

whatsoever. According to the Tampa Bay Times article, “Alligator Attacks Are On The Rise In Florida. Thank

Humans, Scientists Say.”, from 2000 to 2006 alligators have risen to 7 per year rather than the simple 1 attack every

3 years. Of course, this is alarming, since alligators are very dangerous and they could appear in your backyard,

apparently humans are to blame according to the previously mentioned article.

 

“As population and development has increased in Florida, scientists say, so have alligator attacks.” – The Tampa

Bay Times. Interaction between humans and these reptiles result in a higher risk of being bitten an maimed by one of

the gators. Limited interaction with these creatures is encouraged in order to stop the rising attacks, because you’re

more likely to get bitten by a gator if you’re near one, of course. A woman named Gillette, who is homeless, was

bathing in a river one evening and was shocked to find an alligator, which promptly attempted to drag her under the

cold waters. If it wasn’t for a nearby companion helping her out of the situation and bringing her to the hospital, she

would have definitely been a goner.

 

With the number of tourists we get each year (about a whopping 116.5 million people a year), it is no surprise that with

how many people rush in, that a few would run into the infamous scaly critters we fear and have an issue with and

get too close for comfort or safety. About 1.25 million alligators thrive in Florida, and because of how Florida is, with

it’s climate and environment, they could be practically anywhere.

 

Here are some facts and useful information about these critters. Alligators can weigh about 1000 pounds, or 450

kilograms, meaning they are very heavy reptiles. But, luckily for us humans, the muscles that open their jaws are very

weak, so we can easily hold their maws shut with our bare hands, but they have an extremely powerful bite. They can

also grow to about 13 feet. Imagine a 13 foot 1000 pound beast relaxing in your swimming pool. They’re also, of

course, carnivorous, meaning they eat only meat and aren’t exactly picky about it.

 

Alligators can be distinguished from crocodiles because of their black color and wide rounded snouts, while

crocodiles are more on the thinner snout side, more pointed. Florida is the only place where, in the wild, both of

these beasts can be found together, yet alligators are way more common to find. Florida is filled with these beasts

and it really is becoming an issue. To lower the amount of wild alligator attacks on humans, it is advised that you

don’t interact with them at all, and if you do see an alligator to get as far away as possible.

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