Love is in the Florida air! That is if you are an alligator. April 1 is the official start to alligator courtship rituals, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. While alligator mating season doesn’t officially begin until May 1, it’s important to be prepared and aware of safety precautions as you head out on your next alligator viewing tour!
The temperatures are rising and the alligator’s activity levels will also be showing a noticeable increase. During this season, gators will become more visible and active in their populated areas, such as Lake Jesup, and certain human activities can cause problems. To ensure an enjoyable and safe Central Florida alligator tour, we have rounded up our top tips on how to safely experience alligator mating season this year. Take a look!
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
As Florida alligator populations begin the search for their potential mates, the amount of gator sightings will greatly increase. This sudden activity happens as the gators come out of their winter hibernations and are moving to new bodies of water or crossing over land. While experts say that alligators are not aggressive during mating season, it is wise to keep a far distance and be aware of your surroundings if you suspect that you are in a gator-ridden area.
Alligators live in both brackish and fresh water, meaning most lakes, rivers and swamp-like habitats. It is smart to avoid swimming in these areas, especially close to sunset or at night. When you are out enjoying the beautiful Central Florida wildlife, keep an eye out when near bodies of water. Closely supervise pets and children and avoid allowing them to play near the water. Alligators can be quite skilled at blending in to their surroundings and can even appear as a rock or log in the water. It is a good idea to constantly be on the lookout and for additional safety, avoid the banks of lakes and rivers.
As with any wild animal, it is wise to refrain from feeding them. In fact, it is against the law in the state of Florida. Feeding an alligator, even from a distance, can make the animal unafraid of humans, therefore encouraging the animal to approach humans. This can later result in aggressive behavior.
It is never a good idea to approach or touch an alligator. No matter how many nature exploration shows you’ve watched, you are most likely not trained or qualified to handle these incredible creatures. If you do encounter an aggressive alligator that you feel is posing a threat to your or your property, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286.
Keep Your Distance
As the alligator populations enter their active season, there is no reason to avoid them all together. There are many ways you can still enjoy these magnificent animals from a safe place. Remember that alligators have the ability to make short bursts of speed and can raise themselves off the ground by several feet. Keeping your distance is crucial to safely experiencing alligator mating season.
The Black Hammock offers various alligator viewing tours from the safety of a classic Orlando airboat ride. Take a gator tour of Lake Jesup during alligator season and be able to observe and photograph them from a safe distance. Offering various lengths and types of swamp rides, you and your family will love experiencing this classic Florida wildlife tour while keeping a safe distance. Not only will you see gators, but you’ll also have the chance to spot many different species of birds, turtles and more!
Browse our website to learn more and discover the many alligator-centered activities that await!