4 safety tips from the experts at Gatorland

ORLANDO, Florida. – Alligators are on the move and looking for love across the Sunshine State.

Gatorland, the “alligator capital of the world,” says the giant reptiles are getting a bit more active at its theme park.

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“Alligator mating season is upon us,” said Brandon Fisher, director of media relations at Gatorland. “These guys get super excited, they communicate, they bump noses and tails and look at each other. It’s a great time of year to really learn, if you live here in Florida, or if you visit things in do’s and don’ts with alligators.

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According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, alligator courtship begins in early April and mating season begins in May or June.

Females build a mound of dirt, vegetation, or debris and lay an average of 32 to 46 eggs in late June or early July. The eggs then hatch between mid-August and early September.

One area that guests will see this type of activity is in the theme park’s 10-acre alligator breeding swamp. The area includes 150 alligators, 100 females and 50 males, as well as a nesting ground for dozens of migrating birds.

Gatorland Alligator Breeding Swamp (McReynolds)

During this time of year, Gatorland experts said Floridians may see alligators on the move and even in rare locations.

Last month, a Charlotte County construction crew found a large alligator in a home that was still under construction.

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According to Florida wildlife officials, alligators prefer freshwater lakes and slow-moving rivers and their associated wetlands, but they can also be found in brackish water habitats. During the mating season, more alligators move to various bodies of water and breed.

Alligator at Gatorland (McReynolds)

During breeding season, Gatorland provides its guests with several tips to know during this time.

Take a look at some tips below.

  • Alligators can be very territorial and many are on the move looking for mates.

  • When water levels are low, this also sets the alligators on the move.

  • Use extra caution in the morning or evening in shallow water, as alligators may think splashing is a waterside animal.

  • Stay away from alligators you see in the wild and don’t feed them.

  • Remember that it is illegal in the state of Florida to feed or harass an alligator in the wild.

  • Report any alligator problems by contacting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Hear from an expert in the video at the top of this article.

Gatorland has been a leader in alligator safety and conservation since its inception in 1949.

More than 2,000 American alligators call the theme park home.

Click here to learn more about Gatorland.

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