Grande Dunes neighborhood concerned over alligators

Grande Dunes neighborhood concerned over alligators

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Bonnie Yackanin is a dog walker along Patterson street The Dunes Neighborhood who says she fears what would happen if she was attacked by an alligator who's been spotted near this pond.

"I pulled over and tried to get closer to see if it was real or not, and then all of a sudden it leapt up almost in a half circle and jumped in the water...and I died," said Yackanin.

"My concern is that I don't have enough information on them. I don't know when they may attack or why they may attack or if they have been fed enough not to attack."

The Snake Chaser, Russel Cavender, is a wildlife removal and management professional, who says while alligators may look threatening, they rarely ever attack humans.

"There's been very few attacks on humans in the history of South Carolina. But they are common. They are found in ponds and lakes and around peoples homes and when you start building homes where gators live you're going to start to see gators."

Cavender says gators are very common around golf courses, and actually keep other wildlife from becoming a nuisance. He says alligators were once endangered by humans, and were actually banned from being hunted back in the 60's. While they are not known for being aggressive towards humans, it is still important to keep your pets close by.

"Do not let your dog off the leash because if a dog goes to the water, the gator will think it's a food source. And a bigger gator will eat a dog," said Cavender.

Cavender says gators are known to be very predictable animals, and if you spot one, there is typically no cause for concern.

"So if they sit on the bank which is very common for them to do, they'll slide back into the water to get cool, then back out again to warm their body back up. But if you get close to them, every single solitary time that gator is going to go into the water."

If you do come across an alligator in your yard or feel threatened by one, do not try to remove it. Instead you're instructed to call the Department of Natural Resources.

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