Mobile is home to some “snappy” residents.
That’s right; we’re talking about alligators!
We’ve learned to live with our toothy neighbors, so here are some quick facts and tips to remember so you don’t get on their bad side.
Alligator sightings are pretty common here in the southeastern corner of the US.
They’ve claimed ponds, lakes, canals, rivers, and swamps as their personal playground.
Basically, any water source they can find is fair game for a Gator hangout.
How Big Are We Talkin’ Here?
In Mobile, you might encounter a range of Gator sizes.
Some are little 3-foot cuties, while others can reach beastly lengths of over 10 feet!
On average, males grow to be 11 to 15 feet long, while females measure in at 8 to 10 feet.
But there are some record-breaking Gators that measured a jaw-dropping 19 feet!
That’s longer than your average giraffe!
Timing is Everything
It’s crucial to get your timing right if you’re planning to go on aquatic excursions in Mobile.
Alligators are early risers and late-night nibblers.
So, if you’re not keen on being mistaken for their morning bagel or evening snack, it’s best to stay on dry land during dusk or dawn.
Love in the Swamp
When Spring rolls around, it’s like the reptilian version of “The Bachelor,” except with fewer roses and more hissing.
During this mating season, the guys can get a bit feisty.
And once nesting season kicks in, mama Gators become fierce protectors of their eggs.
Either way, you definitely don’t want to be in the middle of these activities.
Beware, the Nests
Alligator nests are made of decaying vegetation and often look like lumpy mounds of nature’s leftovers.
They’re not always easy to spot, so keep those peepers peeled!
And remember, if you spot a baby Gator nearby, mama’s probably not too far away.
Just give them their space and let them do their reptilian parenting thing.
Gators are ectothermic creatures, which means they’re really really into sunbathing.
They rely on external heat sources to control their body temperature.
So, when it’s chilly outside, they tend to be a little sluggish.
But when the sun’s out, you’ll likely witness something like a poolside siesta without the fancy cocktails.
Swimming and Kayaking: Yay or Nay?
Alligators are dangerous, but they usually avoid humans because they’re just as afraid of us as we are of them.
There’s no reason why you couldn’t swim or kayak if you take precautions, time it right, do it in safe locations, and stay alert.
Please consult local authorities and wildlife agencies to find the best entry points for your chosen body of water.
Remember, alligators are not to be taken lightly.
If they feel threatened, provoked, or are nesting, then an encounter could be risky.
While attacks are rare, they do happen.
Gators can be unpredictable, so give them their space!
You’ll want to be at least 100 feet away.
Don’t approach for a selfie.
Don’t try to ward it off yourself.
Find a way out of the water and alert local authorities if necessary.
To Sum It Up
A healthy fear of alligators doesn’t have to dampen your outdoor adventures.
Learning about their behavior will give you the confidence to enjoy nature worry-free.
We’ve coexisted with alligators around these parts for a very long time.
So, smarten up, and don’t be a sad statistic!
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You can find that quote and the original story here.