Friday, April 4, 2014

American Alligator

American Alligators are found in the southeastern United States inland across the piedmont, from Texas to Virginia and including all of Louisiana. By the mid-1960s, hunting and habitat loss had decimated alligator populations. Federal and state protection over the next 20 years have brought the species back from near extinction.

Wikipedia has more information on alligators than you could possibly want to know. This source reports that alligators do not usually regard people as prey. Nevertheless, since 1948, about 5 attacks on people per year have been reported. Alligator bites tend to be serious and the ultimate cause of death may be infection from the wound. As alligator numbers increase and available habitat decreases, alligator attacks appear to be on the rise.

When alarmed, alligators can run on their hind legs, giving rise to Big Foot reports from southern swamps. This alligator paid Erika and me no attention at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. We hurried on to the next bird.

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