Local trapper shares warning about ‘nuisance alligators’ in Northeast Florida

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – It is alligator mating season this means that you’re going to most probably see extra of them over the following few months.

Jim Darlington, a reptile curator on the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, stated the gators play distinct roles.

“Males typically will attach themselves to a territory or like their favorite little nook or lagoon,” Darlington stated. “The females are usually in search of males and they visit these areas.”

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), there are greater than 1.3 million alligators within the Sunshine State.

The courtship between alligators began in early April. Alligator mating season started in May and can undergo June.

Female alligators deposit their eggs in past due June or early July. The eggs hatch round August and into September.

“The females will usually use their back feet, but their front feet will pick a little nook cranny,” Darlington stated. “They will pile up a lot of dirt and debris, vegetation, everything they can and soon after deposit eggs in that and they will guard that nest viciously.”


Photo of alligators at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

The mating season additionally ends up in extra alligators finishing up in puts you could least be expecting them. There had been a number of circumstances lately the place alligators had been noticed roaming thru neighborhoods.

Related: Large alligator saunters thru Florida group | Florida expands alligator searching hours to 24 hours an afternoon

“Alligators have a pretty good compass,” Darlington stated. “If they are driven out of an area or blocked off on a normal route, they want to go from this direction and end up a half-mile over there. All of a sudden there are houses with fences. They are going to start pulling along the fences and bumping along the whole front of people’s property just trying to get from Point A to Point B.”


If this occurs, Darlington stated don’t way them, don’t engage with them, and most significantly, don’t feed them.

“That’s what gets them used to people,” he stated. “That’s what gets them to like being around. That is also what makes them hang out at the water’s edge closer to people more than you would normally find.”

Pet assaults too can occur. Darlington stated alligators are carnivores and opportunistic, however you will have to no longer be afraid to stroll your canine or move about your standard regimen. Just stay them on a leash and ensure they don’t get too as regards to water.

FWC officers stated there are cases when alligators is usually a risk to other folks or pets. In the ones scenarios, they’re thought to be “nuisance alligators.”

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There are trappers running for FWC — and so they should get a allow from any individual who known as inquiring for an alligator to be got rid of. News4JAX rode along side an alligator trapper A.J. Ellis on an afternoon he was once responding to 6 circumstances of nuisance alligators being reported.

“You could imagine if he was not tired at that point and had an arm or something in his mouth, it would not be very good,” Ellis stated whilst shooting his 2d alligator on May 5 in St. Johns County.

Trappers like Ellis are the one other folks allowed to care for the alligators and don’t seem to be randomly seized.

Generally, an alligator is deemed a nuisance whether it is no less than 4 ft in duration and the caller believes it poses a risk to other folks, pets or assets, FWC stated.


People can document a criticism and a allow is issued if it meets the standards. Once a trapper is known as, they have got as much as 45 days to snag the gators sooner than the allow expires. A criticism can then be resubmitted.

“I try to get there as soon as I can,” Ellis stated. “[I have to get the gators] out of the neighborhood so everybody can be safe again and feel comfortable being outside.”

One of 2 alligators stuck was once lurking in a pond close to an Elkton building website online and industry. A supervisor stated they had been interfering with paintings or even changing into competitive as a result of any individual have been feeding them.

“He was just kind of sitting there as we were walking up,” Ellis stated. “He felt a little pressure and went down.”

Related: Video: Florida guy wrestles alligator underneath water to save lots of his pet


Ellis stated it may be a recreation of endurance. It took him just about an hour to seize his first goal.

“I always try to secure their jaws and their eyes,” he stated. “It just helps to keep them calm a little bit.”

Then he hauls them to his truck for a dimension. That gator ended up being 5 ft lengthy. Less than a mile away and an hour later, Ellis captured a 6-foot-4 alligator out of a pond on a golfing route. These scenarios are pressing calls — however there also are emergencies.

Alligator trapper A.J. Ellis

A couple of weeks in the past, Ellis needed to wrangle a 10-footer that made itself at house out of doors any individual’s entrance door in St. Augustine. Ellis has a caution for individuals who would possibly come across alligators that means.

“Stay inside obviously,” he stated. “Do not try to catch or remove the alligator yourself.”

It is on your personal protection and it’s a crime. If an alligator is longer than 4 ft, the FWC euthanizes them. The FWC stated looking to relocate alligators that massive is hard as a result of zoos and farms most often don’t have a lot area for them.


If there may be an try to relocate them to some other far off house, they’re going to check out to go back to the place they had been captured. The FWC stated that may motive some issues for other folks or different alligators if they’re a success. They would wish to be re-captured and the FWC says it will be more difficult to take action a 2d time.

If you want to have a nuisance alligator got rid of click on right here.

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