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Old 03-10-2011, 09:01 PM
 
97 posts, read 211,453 times
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You have them there, in the lakes, right? Not being from alligator country, I don't have the first idea on what to expect. Please give me Alligators 101: Are they prevalent? Do people try to keep some lakes alligator free? What are the rules of thumb for avoiding/dealing with/whatever that everyone in Florida knows?

I saw kids swimming in Lake Victoria by Rollins College and was wondering about that...

My daughter will probably go to college there and I'd like her to know! Thank you!
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:37 PM
 
1,196 posts, read 3,137,298 times
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I live in Florida but don't live by a lake,the way I look at it is they can be in any lake or canal so i wouldn't be swimming in either.I was having lunch in Celebration Florida one day and while waiting for the place to open up we sat next to the lake by Market street and no more than 5 minutes later we see something moving in the water and yes it was a gator which came right over and stopped right by the railing of a sidewalk where several people where.It just stayed there like waiting for people to throw it food.I assume people have thrown it food before as it was strange how it just sat there looking at the people as the people looked back at it,it wasn't huge but not tiny either.
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:08 AM
 
Location: central fl
467 posts, read 1,523,154 times
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you are refering to Lake Virginia. People swim, jet ski, kayak, water ski, etc in there all the time. gators have been spotted in there though i have never seen one in that particular lake. So far noone has had any problems but you never know. If you google alligator behavior you will learn alot. Feeding gators is a bad thing because those gators equate people with food and they don't know which is which.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Lake Mary, Florida
793 posts, read 2,151,234 times
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Gators tend to be just as skittish of people as we are of them, but there are the ones with no fear or aggressive sometimes due to people feeding them and when reported are removed, a quick call the gator hotline.

Just remember to be on guard when around water especially during the spring mating season.

I live on a pond and only one has showed up to date and it was quickly removed by the gator guy allowed to capture them.

Hope this helps,
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Groveland, FL
1,268 posts, read 2,022,700 times
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Gators seem to be rampant here in Florida. I was told once soon after moving here that if I see a body of water, I should just assume that there are gators in it. I'm always amazed at the number of people who think nothing about jumping into a lake in this state. Others are free to do so, but I will play it safe and stay out of the lakes, ponds, rivers, etc. Even if most gators are skittish, all it takes is one that's not! The only water I dare venture into (besides in my bathroom) are swimming pools and the ocean, and even in the ocean I don't go out more than about waist-deep just in case of sharks. I don't want to mess with anything that's bigger than me and loaded with teeth!
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:24 AM
 
165 posts, read 345,744 times
Reputation: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyinAustin View Post
You have them there, in the lakes, right? Not being from alligator country, I don't have the first idea on what to expect. Please give me Alligators 101: Are they prevalent? Do people try to keep some lakes alligator free? What are the rules of thumb for avoiding/dealing with/whatever that everyone in Florida knows?

I saw kids swimming in Lake Victoria by Rollins College and was wondering about that...

My daughter will probably go to college there and I'd like her to know! Thank you!
Yes. There a quite a few Gators around the Central Florida area. Driving on the 417 or 528, you can see a few of them basking in the sun in the small ponds/lakes. We have a few in the small lake down the street from my house. If i'm walking my dog near the lake at night i'll use common sense and stay on the sidewalk across the street from the lake. Don't want to spook one! Stay out of the lakes, don't poke one or bug one if you see one (people still do it on the golf courses), and use common sense then they just become a part of your daily life.

Oh and don't walk around with chicken carcasses hanging off your belt buckle and they won't hurt ya.
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Daytona Beach, FL
4 posts, read 33,191 times
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If there is a body of water, assume there will be gators in it. I live near two major wildlife habitats, and I can you first hand that while gator attacks happen, they are rare. Most gators are scared of people, so if you enter their territory, they will either flee, or they'll hiss at you if you're really close. However, because of humans feeding gators, there have more attacks in recent years, because gators now equate humans with food - they can't distinguish the difference. Central Florida has a lot of parks with natural bodies of water that are monitored to keep gators out - so you can enjoy the beautiful springs of central Florida without the fear of being attacked.

Like a previous poster said, spring is the gator's mating season. Gators are overly hormonal and particularly aggressive - this is actually the time of year where most gator attacks happen. Keep this in mind if you do any lake activities, otherwise, your gator experience should be pretty uneventful.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:23 AM
 
57 posts, read 141,076 times
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Yes, there are plenty of gators around. And any lake/pond of much size will most likely have one or more of these overgrown lizards taking residence there. They only need to have enough food source to sustain them....and they'll travel from pond to pond in search of food. I have lots of friends who ski and swim in the area lakes (and I grew up doing the same!), but my preference now is to stay in the pool where I can see what's under me!

Gators usually won't mess with ya - they're like other creatures in the wild -scared of humans UNLESS they're hungry and see you as a potential meal. Or (like other posters have mentioned) you mess with them in mating season. Just remember - when you're in the water - you're lower on the food chain - so be cautious. Having said that, if there's a group of people splashing, making noise - a gator will usually go the other way.

For fresh water swimming around here, I'd look at Blue, DeLeon, Rock, or Wekiva Springs.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Yellow cottage, green doors.
16,317 posts, read 12,582,938 times
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The alligators are unpredictable and you need to keep away from the water to be safe. They are incredibly fast and can grab you before you have time to even think about running away.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:19 PM
 
953 posts, read 1,251,341 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UMC Musicman View Post
Just remember - when you're in the water - you're lower on the food chain - so be cautious.
I would actually argue that we eat a lot more of them than they eat of us.
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