All types of animals are becoming active throughout Central Florida. Alligators, in particular, are being seen regularly through the area, and alligators become more aggressive and territorial as mating season begins.

GatorWorld Parks of Florida offers these safety tips if you should encounter an alligator on your property or out in the area’s many parks and lakes.

Stay back. Keep at least 30 ft. between you and the alligator. If they begin to hiss, you are definitely too close.

Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn. Do not swim during this time.

Do not assume alligators are slow. Alligators can move very quickly, so it is best to keep a safe distance.

Understand typical alligator habitats. Alligators prefer to bask in the sun along the banks of water. Be aware of these types of areas while enjoy our areas vast lake and water system.

Fishing near alligators is not recommended. If an alligator moves toward your favorite fishing spot, it is best to relocate for your safety and the safety of the alligator. Remember, fishing line kills wildlife. Also, dispose of your fish scraps in cans at the boat ramps. Do not throw the scraps back in the water.

Pets are typically the size of alligator prey. Keep your pets away from the water’s edge and do not let you pet drink in the water.
Never feed an alligator.

Avoid piles of twigs, grasses and disturbed soil near the water’s edge. It could be a nest, and female alligators will get aggressive to protect it.

“GatorWorld Parks of Florida works closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission as we serve as a rescue and relocation facility for some nuisance alligators. We’ve specifically designed our park to showcase alligators safely,” explained GatorWorld Parks of Florida developer Don Buckner.

If you are concerned about an alligator on your property, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Alligator Nuisance line at 866-FWC-GATOR.

For a close encounter with an alligator and to see these beautiful reptiles up close and safely, visit GatorWorld of Florida. It is located at 492 W. Hwy. 44 in Wildwood, a little over an hour’s drive. Visitors are offered opportunities to drive through a scenic trail and view alligators in their natural habitat. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is closed Sundays. For more information, visit GatorWorldParks.com.