Dangerous Animal Encounters – Section 3.4.2 Alligators

In this section you'll learn alligator behaviors that might be helpful when travelling in the US and Mexico.

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I must admit, alligators freak me out a bit. Unless you live in the southeastern U.S. or Mexico you probably don’t have to worry about alligators.

Alligators are similar to snakes in that they are cold-blooded, primitive creatures that pretty much just hang out and eat. During colder months an alligator’s metabolism slows way down and they don’t eat. When the weather is warmer in the spring and summer, their metabolism shoots up and they feed more actively.

Alligators are primarily active at night. With this in mind it is best to avoid going into or near the water’s edge at night in areas where alligators live.

In the last 75 years there have only been around 24 reported human deaths by alligator, so even though alligator attacks are fairly sensational and grab the news cycle for a while, the chances that you are going to get injured or killed by an alligator in North America is slimmer than slim.

Moreover, it is extremely unlikely that a North American alligator will attempt to attack and eat a human adult since we are too large, however children are much more vulnerable to alligators. So keep your kids out of alligator infested waters and you should be fine.

If you are attacked by an alligator, experts advise (so I hear) that you to try and poke your finger into their eyes, which they say will usually get them to let go. I must admit to you, I have never personally tried this and hope that I do not have to ever put it to the test.

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