Where Can I See An Alligator In Florida?


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Patricia Devereux Profile
The more appropriate question is "How do I avoid seeing an alligator in Florida?"
Alligators are extremely common wherever there is water, even backyard swimming pools. The are thriving in Florida creeks, roadside ditches, ponds, and swamps.
While 'gators a threat to suburban pets, stories of them attacking humans are greatly exaggerated -- although it has certainly occurred. Contrary to their image in cinema, they attack strictly for food, not out of maliciousness. If you get too close to a 'gator and it hisses, get the hell out of Dodge, as that is a prelude to attacking.
Incredibly, idiotic and unsuspecting tourists feed alligators, risking serious injury. Ergo, it is illegal to do so in Florida.
Alligators' jaws close on reflex whenever anything touches them. They clamp down, raise their heads, and swallow prey, crushing and tearing it if it is too big. Stories of 'gators dragging hapless prey underwater are bogus.
The best place to see 'gators is in ponds and swamps in Everglades National Park. In the Wilderness Waterway, you can rent a canoe and paddle right alongside them. Just be careful not to get your boat between Mom and Baby 'Gator, or she may attack.
The University of Florida Engineering Department held an annual contest in which students had to construct a paper boat -- and float it across an alligator-filled campus pond. Talk about motivation to win!

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