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What to do with nuisance gators? FWC responds in first of it's kind Q & A

FWC: Nuisance gators will swim towards you
Posted at 11:23 PM, Feb 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 02:19:04-05

There are millions of alligators in the state of Florida and most are scared of people and don't cause problems.  But, there are nuisance alligators that are a danger to people, property, and pets.  Those are the gators that need to be removed.

“I don't have a problem removing alligators that are threatening people, I haven't seen any of those yet, but just to remove them just cause they are here doesn't make sense,” Phil Taub said.

Taub attended a meeting with Florida Fish and Wildlife officials to educate the public on the difference between a gator and a nuisance gator.

A gator is considered a nuisance if it is aggressive towards humans and doesn’t show any fear. If a gator swims towards you on the bank it probably thinks you have food, or that you are food, the first hint wildlife officers look for if a gator has been fed.

In the packed meeting at the Lakewood Ranch Townhall, most people were pro gator and against removal. They think a lot of people, who are new to Florida, need to educate themselves on gators before calling officials to remove them.

“It bothers me because I think people are having them removed just because they don't believe they are actual nuisances or not, they are afraid of them,” Ellen Taub said.  

Wildlife officers say they try and make sure a gator is actually aggressive, in their eyes, before removing it.  

According to statistics, there are six people to every one gator.

This meeting was the first of it’s kind to be held by FWC. They say more and more people are interested in gators when there is a lot of attention from so called “giant” gator sightings.

People in Lakewood Ranch have reported their pets getting killed by alligators. But, no people.

On June 14, Lane Graves was killed by an alligator while visiting Walt Disney World with his family. The two year was dragged underwater at a beach area near Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Authorities said his father tried to wrestle him away from the alligator, but couldn’t.  Lane’s father even told investigators a second gator attacked him while he was trying to save his son.

Officials say attacks on humans are rare, but, people should always be cautious around any body of water in Florida.  

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