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Officials advise public caution during alligator mating season

April is the start of mating season for alligators
Posted at 5:21 PM, Apr 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-02 17:21:33-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — April is the start of mating season for alligators here in Florida.

Which might explain why one was roaming around a Tallahassee neighborhood over the weekend.

Could you imagine finding an eight-foot gator next to your house? That's what happened in Southwood on Saturday.

Neighbors called police, and two officers helped a professional trap the gator.

It's really a job for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission, or FWC.

Officials say that alligator was relocated, but it's possible people might spot more gators in the next few months.

This is the time of year when alligators are mating, so they're out and about looking for partners.

So, what happens if you see one where it shouldn't be? You can call police or you can call the FWC.

They handle what are called "nuisance alligators." Those are the ones that are at least four feet long and pose a threat to people, pets or property.

The FWC will hire contracted trappers to remove those gators and kill them, because relocating them could end up being more dangerous, depending on where they're moved.

Officials say Florida has a healthy and stable alligator population. There's more than a million statewide, and they're in all 67 counties.

Police say gator spottings are nothing new to this area, and it's always best to call for help than try to get rid of a gator yourself.

Here's the number to call to report "nuisance-alligators."

It's 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286). If you call, you must have legal access to wherever the gator is located.

Trappers need permission from the property owner or management authority first.