Alligators In Your Backyard

The Lake Worth Drainage District (LWDD) canals and rights-of-way are abundant with wildlife even in urbanized areas. Residents may encounter various species living in and around the canal system. Most of the animals are harmless. Some can become a nuisance to residents like Muscovy ducks, raccoons, and iguanas. However, some animals are dangerous and even life-threatening like alligators and some types of snakes.

The Alligator is a particularly dangerous animal in a residential area. An estimated 1.3 million alligators inhabit all 67 counties in Florida and can be found anywhere there is standing water. While alligators and people usually coexist peacefully, there have been recorded attacks and occasional fatalities. The key to staying safe is being alert to the possibility of an alligator’s presence.

Be cautious and assume that drainage canals and lakes are home to alligators. Do not swim or wade in areas where alligators are likely to inhabit, especially at dusk or night when they naturally feed. It is important to keep children away from the water’s edge and does not allow family pets to swim or explore waters if you are unsure about the wildlife inhabiting the waterbody. Feeding alligators in Florida are illegal. When people feed alligators, they lose their natural fear of people and associate humans with food.

Alligators are an important part of Florida’s ecosystem, but should always be regarded with caution. Aggressive alligators can be reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program at 866-392-4286. For more information on living with alligators, visit