The good news is that alligators have a natural fear of humans and if you happen to unintentionally approach them, they will most likely high-tail it out of your way.
You should, however, always try to leave at least 30 feet between you and any alligators because they aren’t quite as slow as they might appear. Alligators can actually run up to 35 mph. That, my friends, is the bad news.
If you hear a hiss, you are definitely way too close. So what do you do if you inadvertently come across a gator in close proximity? Back away very slowly. Gator attacks on humans are pretty rare, but they will become aggressive if they are cornered or if they are protecting their eggs.
Alligators tend to be very mobile in their spring and summer breeding months. As smaller gators are forced away by larger alligators, they also have to move about, to find a new home. Neither usually hangs around for more than a week or so. However, if alligators don’t move on and become a nuisance or a danger, you can call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
For safety, you should keep alert while swimming, closely supervise children, keep pets on a leash and avoid their natural habitat during primary feeding times, which is typically dusk and nightfall. Don’t throw your fish scraps in the water or leave them on the shore if you don’t want to attract alligators. Gators have been known to follow canoes and kayaks; and they also may chase top-water fishing lures since they look like their natural prey, but they can usually be scared away by the sound of a boat motor.
Just an aside, Gerry’s Marina has lots of boat motors! ☺