Special Alert
Special Alert


Interesting Tidbit:
When a gator is submerged and you can only see the snout and eyes, the number of inches between them roughly correlates to the overall gators body length in feet.

Along the roads that traverse the marshlands, warm, sunny days bode well for sightings of an American alligator, which derives its name from the Spanish el lagarto, or "the lizard." Ranging in length up to 14 feet, alligators can readily be seen lounging on land or drifting along on a slowly moving current. While afloat, it is often only the alligator's beady eyes that break the water's surface. Both its log-shaped body and short, webbed legs are submersed, enabling this seemingly docile reptile to quietly close in on its prey.

Broad of face, with a flat, round snout, this predator feeds on fish, frogs, snakes, turtles, birds, and mammals. A 12 foot alligator can snap its jaws with a crushing 2,115 pounds of force. Yet as vicious as this reptile can be, it fascinates visitors and residents alike. Like most wild animals, alligators shy away from close contact with humans.

The American alligator lives mainly in freshwater swamps, lakes, and bayous in the southeastern United States.

For your own safety:

  • Do not feed, tease, prod or otherwise provoke the gators.
  • Keep your distance.
  • Treat them with respect.
  • Keep your pet on a leash.

Don't confuse these kings of the marsh with crocodiles. Learn the difference between gators and crocs

Learn when and where are the best chances to see them.