Living in the tropical heat of the Florida everglades and surrounding area is a creature that has long struck fear into the hearts of people that live there. As fearsome predators with a mouth packed full of razor sharp teeth, the alligator is a large, powerful animal that is to be respected. It is an apex predator in its range with the ability to take large prey and can deliver a devastating bite. Despite its power and reputation, the alligator usually presents little threat to us. We are not usually considered to be food for them and they are only likely to attack if provoked. The American alligator has been known to enter towns and cities and will occasionally be found basking on peoples’ lawns.
Despite their size, these large predators are surprisingly agile. Alligators can run quickly, leap from the water and even like to climb trees. They are populous in their environment and are currently listed as a species of least concern. There is, however, a less well-known species of alligator found in China that is currently listed as critically endangered.
As a large and common species that lives close to human settlements, we have learned a great deal of fascinating facts about these magnificent animals.
Alligator Fact #10: Rarely Attack People
As fearsome as they may appear to be, we would usually have little to fear from an alligator. They are not nearly as aggressive as their crocodile cousins and are unlikely to attack unless really provoked. Crocodiles will usually feed on fish and birds but are also capable of taking larger prey such as deer, panthers and black bears. Although they can take large prey, we are simply not on the menu and they’d rather avoid us altogether if possible.
That’s not to say that they cannot be a danger. A hungry alligator might occasionally target a small child, so it is wise to be alert in an environment where they may be present. While the risk is small, taking a child would be easy for an alligator and the consequences could be disastrous. It is best to not be complacent and show the alligators the respect that they deserve.