JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The Jefferson Parish Council is set to consider a proposal on Wednesday to end the parish's ban on feeding wild alligators. According to our partners at nola.com/The Times Picayune, Councilman Elton Lagasse is proposing the change to the 20 year ban. Lifting the prohibition would allow swamp tour companies to use food to lure gators close to their boats for visitors to see.
Lagasse told nola.com Jefferson Parish is the only place in the state where tour companies can't feed alligators. Lagasse says it hurts the parish's tourism business, because visitors want to go where they can get an up close look at gators.
Louisiana law does not prohibit feeding alligators. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says the state's wild alligator population is estimated to be close to two million. According to nola.com, the state agency does advise against feeding them saying, "alligators overcome their natural shyness and become accustomed or attracted to humans when fed."