(WVUE) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has made available recommendations and suggestions when encountering alligators.
"Perhaps the most important advice is not to feed or approach alligators," said LDWF Alligator Program Manager Edmond Mouton. "When alligators are fed by humans, they overcome their fear and natural shyness and become attracted to humans.''
The LDWF also strongly recommends not swimming at any time in areas frequented by alligators. The agency said it's important to not allow small children to play by themselves around water that may have alligators.
Some other do's and don'ts when coming in contact with alligators recommended by LDWF:
- Use common sense and precautions.
- Inform others that feeding alligators creates safety problems for others who want to use the water for recreational purposes.
- Don't throw fish scraps into the water or leave them on shore.
- Dispose of fish scraps in garbage cans at boat ramps or fish camps.
- Enjoy viewing and photographing wild alligators from a safe distance of at least 50 feet or more.
- Don't kill, harass, molest or attempt to move alligators. State law prohibits such actions, and the potential for being bitten or injured by a provoked alligator is high.
Don't remove any alligators from their natural habitat or accept one as a pet. It is a violation of state law. LDWF says alligators do not become tame in captivity and handling even small ones may result in bites. In particular, never go near hatchling/young alligators or pick them up. They may seem harmless, but the mother alligator may be nearby, and may protect her young for at least two years.
For more information, go to the LDWF website alligator page or contact Edmond Mouton at (337) 373-0032 or firstname.lastname@example.org.