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When Do Alligators Eat, Should Tourists Be Scared?

Swamp Fever
When Do Alligators Eat, Should Tourists Be Scared?

American alligators are apex predators, meaning they don't have natural predators. They are opportunistic in the sense that they are not picky eaters and eat whatever they can get on. They do not like to exert much effort hunting for food and prefer chowing on animals that they can easily take on. They settle for prey that are easier to get, like bugs, fish, crabs, turtles and other animals, even tadpoles.

They occasionally feast on bigger prey like rodents, raccoons, dogs, or whoever gets too close to their habitat. They usually avoid preying on animals that they cannot eat in one gulp because their jaws are not made for chewing. When they chance upon a large prey, they save it for later. What they do is pin the food first under logs or rocks and wait for them to rot or soften up before eating them.

Alligators are Efficient Predators 

They hunt their prey brutally and ruthlessly. Below are some of the reasons why alligators are one of the most efficient predators.

Alligators are Best in Waiting Game

They only need to eat once a week if they have a big meal. They are good at lying down, waiting for the potential food to come near, and then they attack super-duper quickly.

Alligators are Good at Hiding

They are intelligent enough not to exert too much effort in hunting their prey. Alligators are good at disguising, their skin effortlessly blending into the brackish water. It is almost always too late for preys to realize that they are the gators' next meal.

American Alligator Encounter in the Wild

Since American gators are very common in Florida, you have to always be mindful of your surroundings, whether you are a local or a tourist. Below are things you must consider to help you avoid any mishaps with this predator, and tips on what to do in case you come face to face with this Jurassic lizard.

Never Feed Them

Alligators have a natural fear of humans. But when you start giving them food, they will lose this natural fear, and they will associate humans with food. You do not want any form of interaction with a gator. If you are feeling adventurous and want some action with them, consider visiting alligators in captivity to ensure you are safe from any possible attack. Or join swamp adventures where tour guides are highly trained for such types of activities. 

Follow Safety Regulations

It is safest to assume that there is at least an alligator or two in all of Florida’s rivers and lakes, so always be cautious and observant when around these areas. Only swim in designated places and take warning signs seriously.

Swamp Fever
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