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Koz

NOT a funny alligator story

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As it says in my tag line, I'm always good for an alligator story. I've been chased by gators, had them eat my lures, and had them steal bass right off of my line. On occasion, my job also puts me in the path of alligators. My posts here about alligators have been a mix of humor, frustration, and sometimes downright fear. This one is a tale of caution.

 

I have a healthy respect for these beasts and I try to never put myself in a position where they can surprise me or I don't have a quick escape route. Of course, there are others on this board that live in alligator territory as well, and many are more fearless (or reckless) than myself. To each his own on that topic.

 

This morning we had a tragedy just down the road from where I live where a woman was killed by an alligator. The details are still coming in, but it appears she may have been dragged into the lagoon while trying to protect her dog. There's no word on her identity as to whether she's a resident or a tourist.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/08/20/woman-walking-dog-killed-when-alligator-attacks-drags-her-into-south-carolina-lagoon-police-say.html

 

So, this is not a lecture - just a friendly reminder to all those that participate here to always be aware and don't put yourself in a bad position here on our southern shores and waters. When motivated, those slow drifting alligators that you see are blindingly fast. It takes mere seconds for a gator to hit the shore and drag their prey underwater. Even smaller gators are strong enough to drag a human and quickly disorient a person with a "death roll".

 

Be smart. It's very easy to get complacent on the water. Don't be a victim.

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I fish areas in South Florida that I am surrounded by them they are very athletic you have to be very careful, people that feed them should be heavily fined and put in jail I've seen them leap out of the water the length that they are,they can reach speeds of 30 mph,very strong and powerful animal,I had one swimming right at my boat very agressively this morning, I stood up and made myself look bigger holding my arms out and on my tippy toes,he backed down but I always carry when I'm out there you never know.

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They identified the woman that was killed and she was a local. Both she and a nearby maintenance worker tried to save her dog when she was pulled in. Tragic seems like an understatement.

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Just read the story. I understand the desire to be by the water and nature, but I just don't understand how some people can't seem to realize that they're dragging a string past a cat when they're walking a dog near water with gators in it. To compound the issue, dogs are protective so when the big lizard comes out of the water, they'll stand their ground to protect their owner and end up needing rescued themselves, which sounds like what might have happened in this situation. 

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4 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I understand the desire to be by the water and nature, but I just don't understand how some people can't seem to realize that they're dragging a string past a cat when they're walking a dog near water with gators in it.

Personally, I don't get that either. But many people are self absorbed or distracted (cell phones!) today that's why I posted this friendly reminder. That incident in Florida a few months ago also involved a dog.

 

My neighbor let her big dog swim in a lagoon until my son went running out there and warned her that an alligator was going to eat her dog. She played it down until he pointed to the alligator slowly moving across the lagoon.

 

Alligators are FAST. If you've seen one move across the water at top speed their tail propels them so fast that it lifts their torso off the water and they look like a hydrofoil boat skimming the surface. In less than 20 seconds they can breach the shoreline from 30+ feet away and drag a person under.

 

They are also stealthy and not always hanging out in open water. I had one hug the bank and creep towards me among the aquatic vegetation. I got out of there before he could get too close.

 

I've also got into the habit of putting on my polarized sunglasses and checking the shoreline where I'm fishing. It only happened once, but I did spot a submerged alligator along the bank. It wasn't a big one, but it still scared the $#&@ out of me.

 

In my own experience I have seen the alligators in our area become much more aggressive. I think that is because we are encroaching more and more on their territory and there are idiots feeding the alligators. I also think that some alligators have "learned" that humans along the bank may mean an easy fish for them to grab.

 

Unfortunately, DNR does not get involved unless there is a tragedy. They leave the responsibility of removing alligators to HOA's, and the HOA's don't want to pay for the tags and critter management services that are required to remove the alligators.

 

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Scary but unbelievably delicious creature. Just like with several species, this is one we thought needed protection 20 years ago and now we are the ones that need protection. Sounds like they should raise the amount of harvest permits issued. People always have and always will underestimate animals. There are packs of feral dogs in some parts of the world that kill people 

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We're infested with them here in FL. You can tell right away which ones have been fed by humans too. I've had a couple try to come in the boat. Not aggressively but still scared the crap out of my son. Wasn't there just a case like this almost identical a couple months back? 

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1 hour ago, TnRiver46 said:

Scary but unbelievably delicious creature.

 

Mmmmmm.... Spicy fried (Tony Cachere's seasoning) alligator or alligator chili. I haven't had those in a while.

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1 hour ago, DINK WHISPERER said:

We're infested with them here in FL. You can tell right away which ones have been fed by humans too. I've had a couple try to come in the boat. Not aggressively but still scared the crap out of my son. Wasn't there just a case like this almost identical a couple months back? 

Yes there was, someone mentioned it above

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Alligator nuggets are where it's at!  Haven't had those in years, but agree that there should be increased harvesting on them.  So many in that region it'd be nice if there was a way to do a massive amount somehow.

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We have a healthy population here in MS but never have this type of incident. In large it seems like the Florida gators are way more aggressive which is due to human population I’m sure. Some of ours are fearless though. They’ll swim right by you without a care in the world. A 12 footer came towards us one day and got about 10 feet from the boat. It was an awesome sight but frightening as well

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