• Alligators popping up in neighborhoods as mating season begins

    By: Joy Johnston, Cox Media Group National Content Desk , Chip Skambis

    Updated:

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. - Alligator mating season began April 1, and many people have reported seeing alligators in their neighborhoods. 

    At least three alligators were removed from people's yards and pools, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

    Trappers removed a 7-feet long alligator from a front yard in Titusville along Buttonbush Drive Saturday morning. 

    "I thought it was a big palm frond and I looked again and it wasn't a palm frond--it was a gator, a good sized gator," said Dennis Sweeney, who lives nearby. 

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    A deputy from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office thought his Friday night shift was getting off to a slow start until he received a call about an alligator in a swimming pool.

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    The deputy documented the call with photos and video, which was posted on the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Facebook page. The first photo shows an alligator that almost appears to be floating in the pool. But as the video clip shows, the alligator proved to be feisty as the trapper removed it from the pool. The last set of photos shows the alligator on the front lawn of the residence.

     

     

    The alligator was 11 feet long, according to the deputy. 

    It was unclear how the alligator made its way into the pool.

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    Earlier Friday morning in Pasco County, trappers had to remove a 7-feet long alligator from someone's yard in New Tampa early in the morning, according to ABC Action News.

    According to FWC, alligators begin courting mates in April and typically mate in May and June.

    During mating season, officials said alligators will be more active, loud and present as the reptiles seek out companions. 

    Part of that increase in activity includes a specific loud call by male gators.

    "They call it the water dance and they say whosever water beads bounce the highest.  he's the one to breed with. He's the man," said Brandon Fisher, a Gatorland representative. 

    Fisher said that we're seeing mating season start a little bit sooner this year than usual. 

    "February was really warm. We were looking at almost Summer temperatures. So that kind of sparked it a little sooner," he said. 

    The Florida state record for length is a 14 foot 3-1/2 inch male from Lake Washington in Brevard County, according to FWC. 

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