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Do Tampa residents have to worry about gator attacks?

Asked by Trulia Tampa, Tampa, FL Fri Nov 9, 2012

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Oh my goodness, the drama. I am a Florida native. Gator attacks are not all that common - we usually seem them in areas where people have been feeding these guys. If you are going to live on a pond or lake, yes a gate is advisable if you have children or pets to be on the safe side. But I swear, people who live in other states think gators are crawling EVERYWHERE here, and that's just not what I've seen. They mostly keep to themselves unless provoked, or starving, which they should not be if left alone in their natural habitat.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 10, 2012
So true! Thy're just part of the lovely panorama (So sad to think it all might even be paved over & turned into a giant mall!) Save the Gators!
Flag Tue Nov 13, 2012
We have many more people struck by lightning annually than are attacked by alligators. Unless you are in a remote location, swimming in a pond or canal, or just stupid, residents should worry a lot more about storms than gators.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 26, 2013
I kayak on Lake Harris weekly and have seen many gators....sometimes they are close enough to give me a start.....bottom line is to leave them alone and NEVER, EVER feed them and they will not become a problem. Gators are part of our natural habitat in Florida....all of it can be enjoyed with a little respect.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 17, 2012
I have made a few jokes....about the dreaded Gators.

Honestly, I have never feared Aligators; I'm a native Floridian. Humans are more destructive to our environment than any Aligator.

I am smart enough to avoid provoking them; they tend to stay in swampy areas. People who live near lakes should be vigilant about their pets & children (And reasonable, responsible parents are......).

I feel sorry for gators & other indigenous FL wildlife. These animals live here - FL is their habitat. But Humans & urban sprawl endangers & diminishes their longevity.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2012
If you are a realtor responding on here, you have a conflict of interest and you are dishing out dangerously false information. Readers, just google alligator attacks in the area of interest and read the news articles to judge for yourself. And no, you can't compare them to turtles, birds, or even sharks, crazy. You don't find sharks in your pools or backyards or downtown park ponds and high density Tampa neighborhoods. It's a growing problem and the alligator population is out of control. 1.3 million gators living among 17 million people including highly populated areas = more encounters. Don't ever let your dog off the leash, toddler out of sight, or cat out. Otherwise these folks on here will tell you it's your fault, someone fed that gator so its their fault, and to take responsibility if you have an encounter.
Live here and love it, but stay away from all freshwater ponds, lakes etc...and make sure you have a fence at least 4.5 ft high around your yard and pool. Period.………
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 26, 2013
Let us all work dilegently to make sure you do not live in FLORIDA.
Those who exhibit such unmerited paranoia do succeed in DESTROYING what makes Florida, Florida. Please change your provide to read, 'Home buying in New Jersey." There are some exceptional agents who can help you find 'gator free communities in NJ.
Dramatized folks like yourself HAVE been successful in culling these prehisotic critters from area of easy access. Are sharks, stingrays, dolphins, turtles, eagles, owls, osprey, otters, racoons, cyotes, Ibis next on your list?This is a byproduct of those who refuse to take responsibility for themselves and their families and defer that resonsiblity onto the community and governing bodies. Florida represents a unique slice of paradise that you should only see from the proctected environment of a Disney theme park. Leave the rest of us to enjoy all that Florida offers, at her caotic best!
Florida is not and should not be a New Jersey mall. It should remain as wild as possible and as natural as when those Spaniards 'discovered' her. With 12 million citizens here already, it's time to pull up the bridge.
It's not too lake to reserve your spot on the Clyde Butcher swamp walks that occur annually the first weekend in September. IT's a real 'bucket list' item....and you WILL see a gator or two or three or...well, the guides have taken an oath to let the gators get them before they get you. And every years, dozens of guides are devoured....NOT! They don't even get a 'skeeter' bite.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 26, 2013
Are you kidding me? Alligators are predatory and deadly to pets and small children. To think your pet or child could get eaten if they accidentally wander towards some water should have you all lobbying Florida Fish and Wildlife to keep increasing the hunting quotas. It's no wonder you didn't get attacked when you were younger, the population was endangered! Now it's out of control.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 26, 2013
Gators should be our State Bird. As a matter of fact I don't even know what our State bird is. Here in Florida Gators are a common part of our environment. It is rare to see a gator, and if you do they are usually asleep. In my younger days I would ski many of our lakes surrounded with "Danger Gator" signs everywhere. Not once did I have a "close encounter". It is important to remember that Gators are wild animals, and you should respect their place on the earth. It is rare that you hear of Gator attacks. Usually in most cases it is a case of mistaken identity. The gator thought you were a tasty treat, and it turns out you were not. I recommend a visit to Busch Gardens in Tampa where you can see gators up close in their natural habitat. You will walk away with a much better understanding, and realize that Gators belong here too.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 16, 2013
Living in Florida for over 30 years, I have seen my share of alligators and heard many stories & tall tales. The majority of the gators I have encountered were found basking in the sun near a lake or pond. Some of the biggest were spotted right on the golf course! If you don't approach them, feed them or provoke them your risk of being attacked is minuscule.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 13, 2013
Yes, I've also gone canoeing on the Hillsborough River when it's lined with Alligators and turtles and probably some snakes, too. Was a little scary.. something everyone should do, though... more thrilling than riding Sheikra at Busch Gardens!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 17, 2012
I would not worry about them, I would however just be careful, I am from a small town in S FL and firends of mine actually owned gator farms etc..
NOt to worry just be careful, especially with small dogs, I also blog about Real estate here:

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 30, 2012
Trulia Tampa, gators are a natural predator in Florida. They live in their habitat of water and bask on sunny banks. Housing developments, golf courses and urban sprawl has interfaced with their natural surroundings. To adapt, gators like most wildlife learn to adapt.

To them a pond in the woods is the same as a pond in a neighborhood or golf course. If gators are left alone they will not attack. However, if you invade their territory, there is a good possibility that it could be you vs the gator.

Some silly people feed gators which cultivate their taste for meat. This "tame" feeding increases the chances of gators becoming aggressive and wandering out of their natural territory looking for tasty morsels.

It is true that you can worry about anything. gator attacks may not be at the top of your list.

Best regards,
Lynn Brock
Brock Realty Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 29, 2012
For the most part gators are more scared of you than you are of them. Use common sense around bodies of water especially if isolated. Pets are far more vulnerable when walking near a lake or canal.
Canals tend to have black water so you won't be able to see them. Large gators seek out larger bodies of water. Gator sightings tend to be rare in recreational lakes as they don't like all the noise with people and boats. The most important thing to remember is not to feed them,they are an animal in every sense of the word with no capacity for affection. Visit the florida wildlife website to learn more.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2012
LOL, Its seems to be the flying gators that cause the most injuries....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2012
I know, it's dreadful, the flying Gators are relentless! Just this past weekend, my neighbor was abducted by a flying gator! On a positive note, however, if you can know how to hunt & skin them - their hide makes lovely shoes & handbags!
Flag Tue Nov 13, 2012
yes, constantly! It's a terrible problem!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 11, 2012
Also during "mating" season you may find one on your driveway so just be sure to park your car in your garage! lol..

Don't get me started on the snakes. Mostly we have a lot of non venomous black racer snakes in my Westchase area of Tampa. I'm becoming an expert on identifying snakes. Another reason to have a screened in pool area!

It's all worth it though, when you see our beautiful green lush natural beauty with birds, deer, small animals and sometimes even a bobcat. Also our beaches are nice, too. (Okay not as nice as Hawai'i but nice enough)

And... comparing what you can buy in Tampa Bay versus a million dollar condo in Brooklyn with huge monthly fees, it's pretty much a no brainer. Still can't understand with technology why people still chose to live up north.

Even with our faults, I'm forever !
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 10, 2012
No more so then Arizona folks have to worry about rattlesnakes.
New York folks have to worry about West Nile Virus which is more common there than in Florida.

Those folks in Denver or Alaska need to worry about falling off a mountain, or stay off the mountain or avoid the edge. (behavior)
Those folks in Seattle need to worry about there X Games activities. (behavior)

If cats worry they need to know their are coyotes in EVERY state.

If one NEEDS to worry about something it should be those century oaks we love so much. When the next blow comes by, they are the cause of delayed power restoration.

I am an extremely outdoorsy sort of person. Every year I participate in a exploration where we meander for miles up to the waist in the water of the Everglades. Even when injecting myself into the environment of the 'gator' there are very practical things the observant and prepared person can do. If you are neither observant or prepared, it is best to stay out of the Everglades up to your waist in the swamp.

Everyplace has it's stuff. Tampa residents need to keep an eye on the pooch and don't let the cat run free. Being a good parent should take care of the rest.

If you have a pond in the back yard, gators are there but they are the LEAST of your concerns. But its exciting to chat about to get those who want to embrace fear something the can wrap their arms around. Hmmm, not a good idea. (behavior)

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group,
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 10, 2012
Yes you have to assume every pond has an alligator. They can jump up out of the water's edge so do not allow pets or children to play near the bank...better to go to the beach! Ponds look nice in the backyard but too much of a hazard...unless you have a fence! No joke..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2012
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