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14 Nov 2017
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Sanibel Wildlife

Sanibel Island is a peaceful place.

Small, tropical, inviting, it is easy to feel that there is not a worry in the world while vacationing on Sanibel.

And for the most part, that is accurate.

The singular exception may be the presence of alligators, and you will see signs warning about them posted throughout the Island.

But some may take the signs to heart in such a way that inhibits their enjoyment of the island.

So let's set the record straight about these prehistoric looking creatures.

First, alligators are opportunistic eaters. They pretty much lay in wait in fresh or brackish waters or on the edges of same for prey to come close by. They will not be wandering the streets and beaches looking for a bite to eat.

Second, a full grown alligator can exist on one raccoon for months. Their metabolism is very slow and they are not the ravenous monsters some think they are. But neither you nor your dog should approach the edges of fresh or brackish bodies of water as the enticement is great, but the risk is even greater.

Third, during winter months, alligators are lethargic and pretty much just lay around. When the weather starts to warm, alligators become active, feeding more, looking for new territories and mating. It is during these times that alligator sightings are most prevalent. If you see an alligator, the best thing to do is leave it alone.

Fourth, most deaths by alligators are not from blood loss or even from drowning. It is the bite alone which is so full of bacteria that it kills by infection. A word to the wise should be sufficient.

Fifth, alligators can be lighting fast when they see you are in striking distance, 15 feet or less from them and the water. Observe and photograph alligators only from 30 feet or more away. Remember they are an important part of Sanibel’s natural history as well as an integral component of our freshwater ecosystem.

Just as we love all wild life on Sanibel, we love our gators. And we love our tourists. We just want to see a sensible distance between the two!

Come see htem for yourself and book your next Sanibel Holiday vacation.