Expert: Alligators can be in almost every body of water

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-16 17:02:33-04

A local gator guide expert wants to remind people alligators can be found in almost every body of water: Canals, rivers, lakes, swamps and even sewers.

Capt. Phil Walters with Gator Guides points out you want to enter clear water so you can see what's around you.

"They generally don't want anything to do with you, they don't want to get close too," he said. 

Walters has been taking people on guided tours for more than two decades. 

Tips for you to remember while in Florida:

  • Alligators are most active at sunrise and sunset
  • Alligators don't run down prey (or people) on land
  • Alligators will run on land to escape danger or protect their nests
  • If you encounter an alligator, walk away, but be careful not to get between the gator and water because thats its escape route
  • Alligators are unpredictable. Don't try to get next to one to take pictures or try to feed them.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has set up the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) to help manage nuisance gators. 

An alligator can be considered a nuisance if it's at least four feet and poses a threat to people, pets and property.

In 2015, the FWC received 13,962 nuisance alligator complaints. 

Authorities say Florida averages seven unprovoked bites per year that require medical attention.