Alligators in North Carolina – Carolina Country.Alligators in North Carolina – Carolina Country

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They thrive in NC swamps, rivers, canals, tidal basins, and even ponds and lakes along the coastline and eastern inland regions. These creatures were almost obliterated from the state in the last century. Charlie, unofficial mascot of the Battleship North Carolina. Photo courtesy of battleshipnc.

Kids who pay the annual dues will get a t-shirt, sticker, membership card and discounts to special events.

Visit battleshipnc. Male alligators top out at plus pounds and can grow to a length of 14 feet. Females are smaller, weighing up to pounds and reaching a max of 10 feet snout to tail tip. Alligators grow slower in North Carolina than those living further south because the weather is cooler, and the feeding season is shorter. When it gets cold, they make a den or underground burrow and shut down. As they brumate their metabolism slows, and they stop eating. Alligators have been observed sticking their snouts out of frozen water to breathe and sometimes become stuck in the ice.

Once the ice melts they swim away. It is easy to see how these adaptable creatures have survived for millions of years. The number of alligators in the state and their range is not fully known. For that reason, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission is asking people who see alligators to report their sightings.

Photo courtesy of Alligator Alliance. Their primary tool is to educate the public. The couple says they feel very fortunate to be able to observe alligators in the wild in our state and not just in a zoo or an aquarium. The McNeills remind us that as an indigenous species to North Carolina, alligators play an important role in our ecosystem. When that happens, they lose their natural fear of humans and are often relocated or euthanized. If we all use a common-sense approach, we can co-exist with them.

This means, be aware that any body of water in our coastal regions has the potential to have an alligator in or near it. It also means stay away from them, do not feed or harass them and of course, keep children and pets away from them.

If alligators are left alone they can exist as the wild animals they were intended to be, and we can all continue to enjoy these marvels of nature in their natural habitats.

They have survived for millions of years and this is their home. Even though their numbers have increased, alligators are classified as a threatened species. It is illegal to harass or kill them. Seeing an alligator does not always mean it needs to be removed. Normally, according to wildlife experts, give it time and space and it likely will move on. But, if it is in a place that will cause danger to people, pets or livestock you should call a wildlife officer and let them do the removing.

Cases of alligators in the wrong places at the wrong time often make the news. Two such newsworthy stories in North Carolina include the foot, pound Dare County gator killed when a van hit it in May The van was damaged but drivable, the people in the van unhurt. It took heavy equipment to remove the dead alligator from the highway.

Another story that made the news happened in Swan Quarter, where a man found an eight-foot long alligator in his garage. He did the right thing and called the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, and they sent an officer to remove it and return it to its natural habitat.

Why it is important to preserve alligators? Like all things in nature, they are part of the circle of life. They are important to the ecosystem of the coastal wet lands. They provide food for other species that eat their eggs and hatchlings. Their habit of digging dens into banks, ponds and lake bottoms provide other animals safe havens.

In turn, alligators feed on and control populations of everything from insects to snakes, birds and small mammals. Remember, if you see a wild alligator, watch and photograph it from a distance of at least 60 feet. Follow the safety rules and leave with a great memory. Share Tweet Share Pin Email. Joyce Compton Brown July 03, reply.

Angela Flythe Holt August 20, reply. Ivan Orisek December 29, reply. John McNeill January 05, reply. Carolina Country January 05, reply. Military on the Move April 11, reply. Susan Pearce September 20, reply. Beach Guy December 11, reply. Select a Different Cooperative. October Table of Contents. Current Issue. Feature Story. In New Hanover County, a 9-foot alligator had to be removed from a neighborhood. At Oregon Inlet, a boater spotted a gator swimming.

And a well-known, foot alligator in the Dare County swamps, was struck and killed on U. One of the hardest things to do with alligators is to count them, due to their reclusive nature. With this in mind, recent studies have shown an uptick in alligator population, though scientists note that alligators tend to live in bunches. For example, in a population count that overlapped between and , 79 alligators were found to be living in Orton Pond, a acre lake south of Wilmington.

The previous study, performed in , documented only 40 alligators. If you see an alligator, leave it alone! If you simply leave an alligator alone, it will eventually move on in a few hours or days. Do not feed alligators or try to move them yourself. If you need an alligator removed for safety reasons, contact a wildlife officer or public official in the area.

 
 

Are There Alligators in the Triangle? Learn More | Critter Control of the Triangle.

 

Select a Different Cooperative. October Table of Contents. Current Issue. Feature Story. July Albert the alligator. Sobek the alligator hatchling. Alligator Safety Tips and Regulations Keep pets on a leash and do not allow them to swim, drink or exercise in or near waters where alligators have been seen.

Watch young children closely and never leave them unattended near any body of water. Call to report an alligator near a home, business or disrupting traffic on a public road.

Visit bit. North Carolina is a birding paradise. Get up close to animals in the Piedmont and the mountains. Comments 9. Excellent article. We should keep in mind that alligators, like all moms, are quite defensive of their young.

Great work! I believe alligators deserve our respect and protection! They are vital parts of the ecosystems they inhabit! How do you swim safely in lakes and rivers of North Carolina when there could be a foot alligator swimming with you? I have done it but now, I am not sure. Please advise. Ivan, Thank you for the great question. We get this question a lot. There is no “safe” way to swim where there are alligators. When you swim in the ocean, you are at risk of having an encounter with a shark.

It is the same with alligators and ANY body of water near our coast has the potential of having an alligator Please visit our website alligatoralliance. Further inland, the chances of encountering an alligator decrease, but the best way to ensure your swimming safety is to stick to pools and stay aware of your surroundings. Thanks for your question. Incoming and long time residents in Onslow and Craven counties are always shocked to learn of Alligators in the area.

It should be one of the first things briefed to incoming families as many see the postings near waterways as a joke. This is something we hear over and over again people moving to our coast and not being aware that we have alligators.

We agree that newcomers and residents should be made aware of the potential to come across alligators in ANY body of water. We also suggest that people who are in charge of HOA meetings in subdivisions make it a point to inform current residents, as well as newcomers, about the dangers of alligators and how important it is not to feed them, approach them, or interact with them.

It is especially important to not let children, or pets anywhere near them. For more information about alligators in NC, please visit our website: www. I am from Northern California and July I had the opportunity to visit Lake Wacamaw with my in-laws and was excited to see the alligators living in the canal. I had only seen them in the zoo, so seeing them in the wild was one of my dreams come true.

The people living along the canal saw my excitement I am 53 years old and being careful , they came out and watched me. They are obviously pretty proud of their gators. Thank you for protecting these wonderful reptiles for others to see. This experience was one of the highlights from my summer vacation! I used to work maintenance for a condominium complex in Brunswick County, NC.

We had a couple of ponds that were stocked with fish. I would occasionally fill in and feed the fish for the pond guy. We had a 5-foot alligator for about and year, and one day when I went I to feed the fish, he had been bitten in half by a footer that moved in.

Never feed the gators, they will become accustomed to humans and can be very dangerous for children, pets, even adults. Most are shy and will dive in the water when they see humans. But when they’ve been fed, they will come out looking for food when you near.

Never directly approach the edge of the water if you are in an alligator area. Gators can lunge several feet from below the surface and pull under a deer, or human! They can run twice as fast as you for a short distance. Just like a bear, they are beautiful animals that need to be respected. Leave them alone and enjoy watching from a safe distance. Leave a comment You are commenting as guest. Connect with Carolina Country And get a free digital cookbook!

Share Tweet Pin Share Email. The previous study, performed in , documented only 40 alligators. If you see an alligator, leave it alone! If you simply leave an alligator alone, it will eventually move on in a few hours or days.

Do not feed alligators or try to move them yourself. If you need an alligator removed for safety reasons, contact a wildlife officer or public official in the area. While most animals simply need to be removed from property, a dangerous animal like an alligator will likely need to be reported to authorities for safety reasons. Home Are There Gators in the Triangle? Are There Gators in the Triangle?

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Do alligators or crocodiles live in north carolina.Alligators vs. Crocodiles: 10 Surprising Differences

 

Crocs are more aggressive in their hunting tactics, preferring to rip and shred rather than crush more on this later. After all, these semi-aquatic animals have pretty similar color patterns.

However, paying attention to both the shade of their skin and its distinct patterns can help you learn more about what it is. Generally, crocodiles have a lighter and more varied tone. The exact color will depend on where the reptile lives. Most are usually olive green, tan, or light gray. Mottled or speckled coloration is standard for camouflage. American crocodiles typically have a slate-colored body with yellow or white bellies.

The countershading is a unique type of camouflage that helps the creature blend in with the water to prey below. Alligators are dark green. The skin is slick and shiny. In some lighting conditions, they can appear almost black!

Gators living in algae-rich bodies of water may appear slightly greener, but most are dark enough to blend in with the muck of river banks. The dome receptors help the gator regulate water pressure and detect vibrations. Dome receptors are translucent on crocodiles, making them more challenging to see. In the crocodile vs. While their snouts are more pointed, you have to remember that crocs are bigger and heavier.

They have a more muscular jaw, resulting in a bite force of roughly 3, PSI. For some perspective, most humans use a mere to PSI of bite force when chewing steak! Gators produce about 2, PSI when they bite down! As a whole, crocodiles tend to be stronger than alligators.

The reason for that comes down to sheer size and behavior. Crocodiles can be several feet bigger than alligators while weighing nearly twice as much. Their sheer muscle mass produces more strength compared to a gator. On top of all that, their bite is more lethal.

Crocs tend to be a little more violent with their prey, too. They use their muscles to shred flesh and incapacitate animals. As a result, they have to be pretty strong to be where they are on the food chain. Crocodiles have a jaw that closes from the top down. As a result, they have visible teeth on both the top and bottom jaws. The teeth interlock and produce a jagged appearance. With alligators, only the top row of teeth is visible.

The entire bottom row of teeth is hidden, as the top jaw creates a slight overbite. The shape of the teeth is different, too. For crocodiles, the teeth are pointed and jagged. The animal thrashes around to destroy prey. As a result, the teeth are sharper. On the other hand, alligators have cone-shaped teeth.

They offer more crushing power to destroy turtles and other tough animals. Both crocodiles and alligators are fully capable of being aggressive. These animals are responsible for human deaths, too. But when you look at the statistics for aggressive behavior, crocodiles are much scarier. These animals are the embodiment of opportunistic eaters. They will go after anything that moves in their area. Hundreds of crocodile attacks are reported every year.

Some of the most violent species are saltwater crocs near Australia. Nile crocodiles are known for being pretty aggressive, too. Alligators can attack as well. Ask anyone who lives near water in Florida, and they probably have stories of coming across alligators without immediately realizing it. Expert Tip: Luckily, most alligators will not attack unless provoked or actively protect eggs. As a whole, gators only account for less than six percent of all crocodilian attacks.

Alligators are much more tolerant of cold temperatures than crocodiles. Fortunately, conservation laws have allowed these reptiles to flourish, and they can live in many states across the US. This is a general guide for kayakers on where they can expect to find alligators.

Generally, the further south you move, the more alligators you will find inhabiting the waterways. The increased population in the southern regions is due to the increased temperatures closer to the equator. Alligators are reptiles and cannot regulate their body temperature. They are reliant on the environmental temperature to allow them to warm up, making warm climates more attractive.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife , Florida has about 1. Alligators prefer to live in slow-moving freshwater rivers. However, they also inhabit swamps, lakes, man-made dams, and marshes. Alligators do not have salt glands and, as a result, can only tolerate salt water for brief periods. They prefer freshwater and will only be found in saltwater areas if they are moving through a region or if the prey is scarce. American crocodiles have a much more limited range than alligators.

In the United States, they occur only in South Florida. They prefer salt water and live around the coast in mangrove swamps, lagoons, cays, brackish lakes, and areas surrounding small islands.

Crocodiles can excrete salt from their bodies due to the salt glands situated under their tongues. This function allows them to thrive in water with high salt content. Crocodiles and alligators can only both be found in South Florida. The typical pattern is that crocodiles are found in saltwater, although they sometimes do move further up river courses. Up to a decade ago, alligators were hardly ever seen in Virginia as the temperatures dropped too low.

However, scientists and inhabitants have recently reported a marked increase in alligators in Virginia. Researchers propose that global warming is increasing temperatures and allowing alligators to begin moving further north. As a result, biologists suggest that kayakers can expect to encounter alligators in more northern states.

The migration will be slow, but as these alligators breed, the numbers of alligators will increase substantially. Albert the alligator. Sobek the alligator hatchling. Alligator Safety Tips and Regulations Keep pets on a leash and do not allow them to swim, drink or exercise in or near waters where alligators have been seen.

Watch young children closely and never leave them unattended near any body of water. Call to report an alligator near a home, business or disrupting traffic on a public road. Visit bit. North Carolina is a birding paradise. Get up close to animals in the Piedmont and the mountains. Comments 9.

Excellent article. We should keep in mind that alligators, like all moms, are quite defensive of their young. Great work! I believe alligators deserve our respect and protection! They are vital parts of the ecosystems they inhabit! How do you swim safely in lakes and rivers of North Carolina when there could be a foot alligator swimming with you? I have done it but now, I am not sure. Please advise. Ivan, Thank you for the great question.

We get this question a lot. There is no “safe” way to swim where there are alligators. When you swim in the ocean, you are at risk of having an encounter with a shark. It is the same with alligators and ANY body of water near our coast has the potential of having an alligator Please visit our website alligatoralliance. Further inland, the chances of encountering an alligator decrease, but the best way to ensure your swimming safety is to stick to pools and stay aware of your surroundings. Thanks for your question.

Incoming and long time residents in Onslow and Craven counties are always shocked to learn of Alligators in the area. It should be one of the first things briefed to incoming families as many see the postings near waterways as a joke. This is something we hear over and over again people moving to our coast and not being aware that we have alligators.

We agree that newcomers and residents should be made aware of the potential to come across alligators in ANY body of water. We also suggest that people who are in charge of HOA meetings in subdivisions make it a point to inform current residents, as well as newcomers, about the dangers of alligators and how important it is not to feed them, approach them, or interact with them.

It is especially important to not let children, or pets anywhere near them. For more information about alligators in NC, please visit our website: www. I am from Northern California and July I had the opportunity to visit Lake Wacamaw with my in-laws and was excited to see the alligators living in the canal. I had only seen them in the zoo, so seeing them in the wild was one of my dreams come true.

The people living along the canal saw my excitement I am 53 years old and being careful , they came out and watched me. They are obviously pretty proud of their gators. Thank you for protecting these wonderful reptiles for others to see. This experience was one of the highlights from my summer vacation!