Tips to keep you and your pets safe as gator mating season approaches

ORLANDO, Fla. — As temperatures heat up, alligators are becoming more active across the Sunshine State.


And with alligator mating season fast approaching, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants to remind residents to be careful in areas where gators could be present.

The are an estimated 1.3 million alligators in Florida and can be found in all 67 counties in any body of water.

Read: Volusia County to hold series of meetings to prepare residents for hurricane season

Most alligator mating takes place in May and June, with nesting in late June and July. Females lay an average of 32 to 46 eggs, which hatch in late summer or early fall.

However, alligators are already on the move, looking for mates and nesting sites.

Read: This Central Florida county led the way for population growth in 2023

Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep a safe distance if you see an alligator. If you are concerned about an alligator, call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Alligators can be very territorial, and many are on the move looking for mates.
  • When water levels are low, this also puts alligators on the move.
  • Swim only in designated swimming areas during daylight hours and without your pet. Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn.
  • Keep pets on a leash and away from the water’s edge. Pets often resemble alligators’ natural prey.
  • Stay away from alligators you see in the wild and do not feed them. This can lead to dangerous circumstances for yourself and other people who could encounter the alligator in the future.

Read: Best Buy to close more than a dozen stores this year according to earnings call

Remember, it is against the law in the state of Florida to feed or harass an alligator in the wild.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.