Welcome to Florida: No fatal alligator attacks since 2007.
The state would like to extend this winning streak, but it needs your help. As the weather warms up, alligators and crocodiles roam farther in search of water, mates and warm spots in the sun.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission advises people to be careful near the water. Children and pets — both of which are closer to prey size for these species than adult humans — should be kept away from the banks of canals, lakes and other bodies of water known to be inhabited by the reptiles.
Alligators and crocodiles have sharply increased in number over the past 20 years. Crocodiles, once reduced to a stronghold around Florida Bay, have extended their range up both sides of the Florida peninsula, reaching Lee and Broward counties. Alligators, among the original members of the endangered species list, are considered fully recovered, with more than 1 million prowling rivers, lakes and canals.
If you have concerns about an alligator or crocodile near your home, call the FWC's Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286.
Copyright © 2011, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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