Alligators more visible this time of year -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Alligators more visible this time of year

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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - From snakes to boars to bears, our area is no stranger to wild animals, and this is about the time you may spot a gator.

Alligators are generally more visible this time of year, because they want to get out of the water and warm up in the sunshine, especially in backyards and on golf courses, so don’t be surprised if you have a run-in with one.

Thad Bowman with Alligator Adventure said they're found many times in the residential neighborhoods in the drainage ponds, behind the houses.

"Alligators are naturally afraid of humans, they don't want to be around you, they want to get away from you, just as much as you want to get away from them,” Bowman said.

He said the problems arise when people feed gators, especially in neighborhoods, which is illegal.

"If you do feed an alligator he's going to lose their fear and every time they see a human - they're going to approach a human, and that's when it becomes a dangerous animal,” he said.

While he says attacks are few and far between, they're likely to occur if you approach a gator, or its nest, and its nesting season.

“If you go near an alligator nest, she's going to let you know, and you could be attacked at that point when she's trying to defend and protect her nest," Bowman said.

So at this point, you’re probably thinking, what should you do? It's simple, if you see one, avoid it. If it comes towards you, run the opposite direction.

If you do see an alligator and it’s causing problems, you can contact the Department of Natural Resources. An officer will evaluate the situation and determine if a licensed trapper should be sent out.

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