Alligators live in many of the Southeastern states, and due to population growth and habitat reduction, these scaly animals increasingly come into contact with people. Confrontation with an alligator is typically not dangerous or life-threatening, as gators don’t consider humans as tasty snacks. Regardless of whether you are in any real danger, seeing one of these 6-feet-long creatures crawl into your yard can be frightening.
Install a Fence
Building a fence is one way to prevent alligators from getting into your yard. Alligators can climb, if necessary, but they are not particularly good at it. Alligators won’t climb a fence without a motive, such as getting away from danger. To keep alligators from wandering in, enclose your yard with a fence that is just under 5 feet tall and touches the ground.
Don't Feed Them
Don't give gators a reason to come near you. Alligators do not consider humans as a good source of prey, but many humans like to feed these creatures. Once an alligator associates humans with receiving food, it loses any fear it may have, and this often leads to aggression toward people. Even something as small as tossing fish guts back into the water when alligators are nearby can encourage this behavior. Never leave food in your backyard, such as meat scraps, and never intentionally feed an alligator.
Take Immediate Measures
If you see an alligator crawling into your yard, stay calm and take immediate action. Get children and pets out of the yard and safely into your house. Once inside, close and lock the door. Your reptilian visitor is unlikely to pursue you or get too close to your house. In most cases, the gator will continue wandering through and past your yard without stopping. Check that the coast is clear before allowing anyone outside again.
Make a Call
If a gator won’t stay away from your yard, call your state’s Department of Wildlife or your local Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. If they believe the animal is a threat, an experienced trapper will be sent to your residence to trap and relocate the animal. In some cases, particularly if the alligator has shown aggression, the animal may be killed to ensure future safety for you and the community.