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Nuisance alligators: Here's what to do if you encounter one in your neighborhood

Posted at 7:07 AM, Apr 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-08 07:09:50-04

Beware of alligators since courting season is officially underway.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says residents need to pay extra attention to their surroundings this time of year since alligators are more active as they try to find a companion.

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According to our news partners at the Palm Beach Post, West Palm Beach and its suburbs had a total of 205 gators removed over the last two years -- 139 of those gators were removed from Wellington and 77 from Palm Beach Gardens.

The FWC says alligators are not confined to any specific area and may wander looking for food as the temperatures rise since their metabolism increases.

FWC defines a "nuisance gator" as one that is at least 4 feet in length and is believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property.

If you encounter a "nuisance gator," you are asked to contact Florida’s Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR or 866-392-4286.

The FWC then decides whether it poses a threat and then assigns a specialized trapper to remove it and relocate it.

In 2017, the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program received 13,210 nuisance alligator complaints, which resulted in the removal of 8,455 nuisance alligators.