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Fwc Launches New Hotline For Alligator Complaints

Discussion in 'Florida Diving' started by NetDoc, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. NetDoc

    NetDoc power-mad satrap of a Scuba Board Moderator


    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has launched a new toll-free telephone number to report nuisance alligators. That number is 1-866-FWC-GATOR and should be the primary telephone number for alligator complaints, available to customers around the clock.

    Alligators have shared marshes, swamps, rivers and lakes with humans for many centuries in the southeastern United States and are found in all of Florida’s 67 counties. There have been increased interactions between alligators and humans as more and more people are seeking homes on waterfront property.

    The FWC annually receives more than 15,000 alligator-related complaints. The agency removes more than 5,000 alligators each year when the reptiles pose a threat to humans or their property.

    There are many precautionary measures people should take to reduce the potential for conflicts with alligators. To learn more of the “dos and don’ts” of dealing with alligators, download the “Living with Alligators” brochure from MyFWC.com/alligator.

    Many Floridians have an appreciation for these ancient crocodilians and have learned to coexist with them. However, if you do encounter an alligator that poses a threat to people or property and is more than 4 feet in length, the FWC urges you to call the new Nuisance Alligator Hotline. All alligator complaints will be forwarded to this new dedicated hotline.

    Alligators are an important part of Florida’s heritage and play a valuable role in the ecology of the state’s wetlands. Visit MyFWC.com/alligator for more information on alligator behavior and about the Alligator Management Program.
  2. archman

    archman Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SE Florida
    15,000 complaints per year?! Holy cow. Maybe there should be a hotline where alligators can complain about people.
  3. triton94949

    triton94949 Manta Ray

    I know alligator meat tastes good to us. I have to wonder if we taste good to them as well? Probably not, in wetsuits. They are probably finicky eaters, just like GWSs.
  4. NetDoc

    NetDoc power-mad satrap of a Scuba Board Moderator

    That's right, and this is when the big Bull Gators come out looking for fun!

    It's pretty important that you give them the respect that they need. Please be sure to wear one of those little brass bells (they hate them) and carry pepper spray when you are in their territory.

    But the question often arises as to how to determine just IF you are in a big Bull Gator's territory. The answer is in the Gator scat (poop). The first thing to do is to locate their scat. If none is present, then there are no gators. If there is some present, you need to inspect it. If the scat is less than a cup or two, and smells like poo and contains small bones, then you are still safe as this is the scat of a smaller Gator and they are more afraid of you than you of them. You will know that it's really a Bull Gator's scat if you find big bones, tiny brass bells and it smells like pepper spray.

    I hope this helps!
  5. scubafool

    scubafool Solo Diver

    Believe me, I feel SO much safer now!
  6. Scuba_Jenny

    Scuba_Jenny Buoyancy Babe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Hollywood, Florida
    I have a friend who told me she heard from a local native (indian) that if you are being chased by an alligator to throw frozen marshmallows at it. It will think that the marshmallows are eggs and will go after them instead. Somehow I just can't imagine hiking in the Everglades with frozen marshmallows!
  7. FL_Chad

    FL_Chad Nassau Grouper

    I heard that too!!! Yeah, same indian buddy I got my manatee recipe from told me they used to throw marhmellows at them. They used to haaaate it when the trading post was out of marshmellows....

    The thing I love most is when people move here, live on their "lake front" (retention pond) lot and then inevitably someone or something gets attacked. Then they kill all the gators they catch until they find the villian. Now THAT makes sense.

    Fried alligator is hard to beat, by the way....
  8. triton94949

    triton94949 Manta Ray

    Somehow I just can't imagine hiking in the Everglades.

    The crocodilians are among the oldest successful species in the world. Probably second only to the cartilagenous fishes (really big fishes). And they both have something in common. Big mouths and many many teeth.
  9. NetDoc

    NetDoc power-mad satrap of a Scuba Board Moderator


    Gators HATE bubbles. Not that I would ever admit to doing this, much less condone it, but have you ever seen a sleeping gator get purged? BWAHAHAHA! They CAN walk on water! :D
  10. CBulla

    CBulla ~..facebook conch..~ ScubaBoard Supporter

    :rofl: I think that is something I would have to see to believe Pete. I do know that Gators also don't have a great affinity to go below 15' or so.. the things you read. :)

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