Never Feed Alligators! Presented by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Whether you’re a full-time resident, or just visiting the area, there’s a long list of great things to see and do in Southwest Florida.

At the top of that list is exploring the Florida Everglades, with its many nature preserves, wetlands, and wildlife management areas. Many of the animals that call these preserves home are on the  protected species list. And one of the most popular inhabitants of this wetland paradise is the American Alligator.

NEVER FEED ALLIGATORS — it’s dangerous and illegal. When fed, alligators can overcome their natural wariness and learn to associate people with food. When this happens, some of these alligators have to be removed and killed.

Alligators are a fundamental part of Florida’s wetlands, swamps, rivers and lakes, and they are found in all 67 counties. Florida continues to experience human population growth. Many new residents seek waterfront homes, resulting in increased interactions between people and alligators.

Although most Floridians understand that we have alligators living in our state, the potential for conflict exists. Because of their predatory nature, alligators may target pets and livestock as prey. Unfortunately, people also are occasionally bitten. Since 1948, Florida has averaged about five unprovoked bites per year. During that period, a little more than 300 unprovoked bites to people have been documented in Florida, with 22 resulting in deaths.

In the past 10 years, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has received an average of nearly 16,000 alligator-related complaints per year. Most of these complaints deal with alligators occurring in places such as backyard ponds, canals, ditches and streams, but other conflicts occur when alligators wander into garages, swimming pools and golf course ponds. Sometimes, alligators come out of the water to bask in the sun or move between wetlands. In many cases, if left alone, these alligators will eventually move on to areas away from people.

Visit for more information about alligators and the latest nuisance alligator program statistics.

The majority of the alligator footage in this video was captured near the Turner River canoe and kayak launch in the Florida Everglades. The launch area is located approximately 30 miles east of Naples. Just off  US 41 on Turner River Road.

For 21 miles Turner River Road cuts directly North through Big Cypress National Preserve, a Federal land holding of 729,000 acres of cypress strands, wet prairies, and pine lands. Running alongside is its benefactor, the Turner River Road canal, whose sand, shell and rock dredging initially formed the road. Straight as an arrow, seemingly an endless bed of crushed rock and sand a few feet above water level and extending north of Interstate 75, it takes visitor traffic from the Tamiami Trail and diverts it deeper into the Everglades. Basically a one-way-in, one-way-out route, the roadway has become a great viewing platform for the wildlife activities along the canal.

Never Feed Alligators! © 2012, MyitownTv, Inc.

Produced by: MyitownTv Video Production Services • Naples, Florida (239) 269-5355