How to Be Safe Around Alligators

Do you know… Seabrook Island is home to a healthy population of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)?

Alligators do not regard humans as prey and serious injury caused by alligators is rare; however, being safe around alligators requires common sense and respect for these large predators.

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To be safe around alligators, remember:

  • Do not feed alligators. Feeding alligators reduces their fear of humans.
  • Keep your distance, at least 50 feet. Alligators can run faster than you.
  • Do not attempt to move alligators out of the road.
  • It is illegal to harass or throw things at alligators.
  • Do not disturb nests or small alligators. Female alligators are very protective.
  • Keep pets and children away from alligators.
  • Do not corner or trap alligators.
  • Be alert around the shore of freshwater ponds or wetlands.
  • Avoid swimming in areas that are known habitats for large alligators.

Some fun facts about alligators:

  • Alligators have between 74 and 80 teeth in their mouth at one time. As teeth wear down, they are replaced. An alligator can go through 3,000 teeth in a lifetime.
  • Mating season for alligators is mid-April through early June. Baby alligators hatch in August and September and measure about 6 to 8 inches.
  • Juvenile alligators grow about one foot per year. Adult male alligators measure 11 – 15 feet in length; adult females 8 – 9 feet in length.

Seabrook Island Property Owners’ Association (SIPOA) has developed a policy for determining whether or not an alligator qualifies as a “nuisance alligator” and therefore warrants removal under the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) Nuisance Alligator Program. If you have a concern about an aggressive or nuisance alligator, call Seabrook Island Security at (843) 768-6641 immediately. If SIPOA staff and Security determine that removal is warranted, a professional alligator trapper licensed by the SCDNR will be summoned to remove the animal. Click here to read the full SIPOA Alligator Program Policy.

Property owners should share this information with visitors and rental guests.

Resources about alligators:

Tidelines Editors