Alligator Safety-Do’s and Don’ts
Alligators are fascinating creatures and should, by all means, be enjoyed as part of the natural beauty of our region. According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), alligator attacks are exceedingly rare and the animals are usually afraid of people. Still, they are large carnivorous predators and should be respected as such. A few precautions on your part can help both humans and alligators coexist safely.
Concerns about having negative encounters with alligators can largely be dissolved with common sense and an understanding of alligator behavior. Below are several tips for safety. We encourage you to share these with your visiting family members, friends, and guests.
- Do not feed alligators. Feeding alligators is illegal and can result in substantial fines and/or jail time.
- Do not approach alligators, no matter how big or small. Alligators can move fast!
- Do not walk up to an alligator to take a photo or to see it closer.
- Do not taunt, tease or bait alligators.
- Do not swim in lakes or lagoons.
- Do back away from and report any alligator that approaches you.
- Do keep your distance. If you encounter an alligator, walk backward and back away from it. A safe distance from an adult alligator should be maintained at about 60 feet. If the alligator hisses or lunges at you, you are too close.
- Do keep your pets and children away from alligators. Large alligators do not recognize the difference between domestic pets and wild food sources. When they are hungry, alligators act on their hunting instinct. Do not allow pets or children to swim in, drink, or play at the edge of waters inhabited by alligators. To an alligator, any splash potentially means a food source is in the water.
- Do report any aggressive behavior, or alligator feeding and harassment, to the Security Department.