Meet our neighbors, the gators!

If you’re from Florida, you know that we share a natural habitat for several species – specifically of the scaly variety. Yes, I’m talking about alligators. When people hear about Florida’s resident gator population, their first thought is often, “What do you do about that?” and the answer is to simply coexist. My neighborhood and clientele in The Meadows community recently shared some important tips for peacefully coexisting with our reptilian friends. 

Did you know…

Alligators are a necessity in our community. Not only are they absolutely essential in maintaining the visual aesthetic and health of a pond’s ecosystem, they also help increase plant diversity and provide homes for other amphibians, while also keeping populations under control by eating weak or diseased animals and invasive species. With alligators, you have a built-in resource for pest control and natural landscaping!  

All too often, alligators are killed instead of relocated. And, since American alligators are a threatened species, The Meadows has adopted and implemented conservation and peaceful cohabitation into the community, which I believe all Floridians should follow.

When you spot a gator…

  • Do not feed them! Feeding wildlife in general is discouraged in most communities, and it’s no different in this situation. Although alligators are typically shy animals, they are still predators and thus can be dangerous to humans. Rule of thumb: If you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. 
  • If you are fishing and see an alligator, the best advice is to relocate to a different area or pond.
  • Keep children and pets away from waterways and banks.
  • NEVER approach or attempt to capture or relocate an alligator yourself. Always keep at least a 50-foot distance. Florida state law prohibits the general public from killing, harassing or possessing alligators.
  • Never swim in a pond where they may be located. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Help us continue to maintain a peaceful coexistence with our alligator neighbors by educating your community about why it’s important. 

Questions? As a long-time resident of The Meadows, comment below and I’m happy to share some alligator-friendly tips! Contact me at amychapman@michaelsaunders.com

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