Never let children or pets near the water unsupervised.
Alligators are opportunistic hunters. They prefer to wait for prey to get close, and lunge to seize it. Adults and children alike should be very aware of their surroundings near the water’s edge; that embankment area of a water body, where land meets liquid, is often covered in vegetation in which the ‘gator can hide, making it the reptile’s favorite lurking place. And remember: the smaller the potential ‘prey,’ such as child or a pet, the more attractive to the alligator simply because it is easier to take.
Avoid swimming in a water body known to be inhabited by alligators.
You already know this — it doesn’t take a scientist to figure this one out. Many municipalities orAlligator warning sign. residential developments post warning signs, but the absence of such a sign doesn’t mean there are no alligators. Bear in mind that most water bodies in alligator states contain them.
In the water, you look much smaller to an alligator, even if you happen to be 6 ft 4 in/1.9 m tall while walking upright on land. The ‘gator may not think of taking a tall man as a meal while that human is standing on the water’s edge, but being in the water puts the man in the alligator’s watery hunting field, where the he appears smaller on a liquid plane, and where the reptile has the advantage. Statistics show that the average age of an attack victim is 34 years.
Kids jumping into a lake.Usually, the safest swimming areas are in frequented, supervised parks, where lots of cars parking and humans talking, shouting and splashing tend to ward off the ‘gators. Even if you swim in areas that are known to be generally ‘gator-free, never swim alone. Should an attack occur and you have a buddy to help you, your chance of escaping is much greater. Swim only within posted swimming areas. Venture beyond that and you enter deeper into the realm of the alligator, and away from potential safety or help.
Also, never enter water at night. Alligators are most active, especially for seeking prey, from dusk until dawn. And the fact that you can’t see well in the dark makes for a much more dangerous situation.
Sunset on the marsh.Finally, avoid consuming alcohol when enjoying the water, even in daytime. Evidence in some Florida alligator attack incidents, as well as some of those involving the crocodiles in Australia, shows that the victims were under the influence of alcohol, or worse, crack cocaine. You need your wits about you when swimming to avoid drowning, let alone being wary of alligators. So, don’t drink and dive.
Did You Know? 90% of attacks occur on persons wading or swimming at water’s edge (this is where the alligator is apt to lunge at prey that approach the water).