MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – If you regularly take walks through Linear park near Market Common, you may have noticed new alligator warning signs lining the water and brush.
Two new signs have been installed and City Spokesperson Mark Kruea said the city decided to put up the signs after noticing a few alligators in that area. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources recommends hanging up signs like this to warn those in the area of the danger associated with alligator interaction.
"We want folks in the neighborhood to know that 'Yes, the alligators are there. No you can't move them at this point,'” said Kruea. “They aren't a nuisance at this point. You just need to leave them alone. Be advised that they're there, but don't bother the alligators."
Snake Chaser Russell Cavender said it’s important to remember to leave alligators alone. Feeding them will cause them to lose their fear of humans and see them as a natural food source.
Feeding them puts alligators in danger as well. If you’re caught giving them food, they need to be killed.
According to Cavender, alligators on the smaller side might be able to lose that behavior, but the larger seven- to 10-foot alligators will continue to assume humans are food, and he hopes these signs will encourage residents to be more careful.
"It's because people see a gator and they don't see that sign. They just toss their chicken wing or hamburger bun in the water thinking it's cool and it's not,” said Russell Cavender.
If you leave an alligator alone, it won’t bother you, according to Cavender, and he said he thinks there are only two confirmed alligator attacks in the history of South Carolina.
Kruea said the two signs installed in Linear Park should be enough for now.