7 Things Not to Do When Living Around Alligators
Living in the Charleston area has so many benefits; one of them is that we get to observe, daily, so many beautiful and fascinating wildlife species. Of course, one of the first things people want to see when they visit or move here is an alligator. I get it, they are one of the most impressive animals alive, and one of the oldest at over 150 million years! With the number of people moving to Charleston homes where they will share the environment with creatures they have never been confronted with before, it can’t hurt to be repetitive about alligator awareness.
Here in Dunes West we have had alligators stroll down the middle of the street, camp out in front of driveways, and believe it or not, one has even made its way in the middle of the night up garage stairs, through a door that was not shut all the way, and into a downstairs bedroom! Since, being a realtor, I want people to keep moving here and also be able to live long enough to buy a home, maybe even more than once. Therefore, I offer the following list of neighborhoods in the Mount Pleasant area where you never have to worry about alligators.
1. . . .
No, seriously, what I actually offer is a list of don’ts when it comes to alligators.
- For the millionth time, Do Not Feed the alligators. Most of the time alligators are not interested in humans because they are larger than their choice of prey, however, If you feed them they will start to associate humans with food.
- Do Not Approach alligators. There is a myth that alligators are slow on land and that they cannot catch you if you run in a zig-zag pattern. Alligators are actually able to run up to almost 15 miles per hour on land and are able to jump up to 10 feet! Run, run straight, and run as fast as you can!
- Do Not Swim in areas known to be inhabited by alligators, or how about just don’t swim in any ponds in the Charleston area, including those in our beautiful neighborhoods.
- Do Not Assume a fence will keep a gator out. We have all seen the pictures of alligators climbing fences and it is true, they can!
- Do Not Walk Your Dogs near ponds in your neighborhood. It seems like every year there are reports of a dog getting taken by a gator when they were being walked by their owner.
- Never Approach a Baby Gator. This is even more important than not approaching a grown alligator. At least with grown gators they usually try to avoid humans, if you go near a baby gator, Mama will not try to avoid you. She will protect her young, who stay with their mama for up to two years.
- Do Not Dispose of Fish Scraps in or near the water. I understand chumming the water when you are fishing, but in the waterways, in Mount Pleasant, there is too high a chance that gators are present.
Newer residents may find more information helpful, such as:
- Alligator attacks happen more often in water but have been known to happen on land as well.
- Mating season is late May to early June, hatchlings usually arrive mid-August to early September
- Gators hunt at dusk and dawn, therefore, these are all times of higher caution.
- Alligators emit a hissing sound as a warning, so if you hear this run.
- If you are one of the unluckiest people you know, and you do get attacked, try to hit the gator in the nose, gouge his eyes, and give everything you’ve got to keep it from getting you to the water!
Living in neighborhoods like Rivertowne, Dunes West, and Charleston National which not only have ponds in and around the subdivisions but also on the golf courses means we really should be extra vigilant. It is actually wonderful having the opportunity to live around these creatures and observe them. Everyone just needs to remember that with the privilege of living in such a beautiful place, comes the proper respect that is called for to protect it, which also means protecting the wildlife, Homo sapiens included.
For more information about alligators in South Carolina, see the Department of Natural Resources website at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/herps/alligator.html and if you spot an alligator or witness an attack, contact your local S.C. Department of Natural Resources at 843-953-9856
For more information on any of the neighborhoods mentioned, see me at YourLowcountryHomes.com