Things To Do In Jupiter – DON’T FEED ALLIGATORS!
Another alligator is dead — again caused by people feeding the graceful reptiles.
“Alligators are the true residents of the Loxahatchee River. People should respect them and all wildlife. When people feed an alligator, the alligator sees them as a food source. Don’t feed them,” said a person who was at the scene.
The eight-and-one-half-foot gator was taken Sunday by a licensed trapper from the Loxahatchee River.
Observers said they saw people feeding the alligator about 20 minutes past the Lainhart Dam, known as the First Dam to locals. When the alligator swam near their watercraft, the boaters reported the alligator to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
In response to reports of an alligator approaching people at the Loxahatchee River, the Jupiter Police Department requested the FWC’s assistance.
FWC officials determined the alligator was a nuisance, which is defined by FWC as an alligator “at least 4 feet in length and the caller believes it poses a threat to people, pets or property.”
FWC issued a permit to a contracted nuisance alligator trapper. The trapper caught the alligator. The trapper taped its mouth shut. The alligator, its thick tail loudly flapping, was taken away in the back of a truck.
The alligator was later euthanized.
“How tragic for a ‘gator to be killed because of the mistakes of human beings — please do not feed wildlife,” said Rick Clegg, owner of Jupiter Outdoor Center, which rents kayaks and canoes on the Loxahatchee River.
JOC watercraft was not involved in the incident.
Trappers don’t relocate nuisance alligators, for two reasons.
First, alligators taken to another site often try to return to where they live. If they return, capturing it again would likely be tougher.
Second, delivering a new alligator to a remote area is asking for trouble.
Alligators have established social structures. A new alligator to would likely cause fighting, maybe even the death of the new or resident alligator.
FWC offers these tips to co-exist with alligators:
- NEVER feed an alligator
- Keep pets away from the water’s edge
- If you see an alligator, keep your distance, about 60 feet at least
- If an alligator hisses or lunges at you, you are too close
- Swim during the day and only in designated areas