4 Mar 2020
Recently, a video went viral when a local resident taped an alligator acting up in a lagoon, performing a mating call with an unmistakable growl. The thing is, though, it’s a few weeks before the usual mating season of most species in Florida…
They’re not the only species getting frisky sooner rather than later. As early as late January, the infamous love bugs were seen flying in pairs, even though they don’t usually do that until May, when it’s getting hotter more often. They’re not dangerous, but quite a nuisance when they swarm your outdoor gathering. They’re also attracted to sunlight on car exhaust and asphalt, which makes it hard to avoid hitting one or twenty and having to wash it off before it can damage your car’s paint job.
And love will make you do some strange things. Our guest blogger, Matt Spaulding, could definitely relate: “My home has a lagoon in the back yard and we see gators intermittently through the year. We usually hear them courting in March. Earlier this week, we saw a BIG gator about 8 feet long who started to make a mating pose. Suddenly, he snapped forward, banging nose-first into a fallen tree. I don’t know if he meant to do that or not. Then we noticed there was a female gator a foot or two away by the same tree. The male then turned and drifted away before turning around and taking a position to observe the female from afar. The next day, they were back and the male was growling. We don’t usually see this happening in February. Our neighbor also heard what might’ve been the male across the road in the Wildlife Refuge near the bike path, so hearing that he’s roaming around for territory is a bit concerning if humans happen to come across one by accident.”
We’ve also seen coyotes on the island who wandered just outside the Refuge onto the bike path on Sanibel-Captiva Road at night. Bobcats have been seen on the island, as well. So it seems to be a good time to remind everyone to respect wildlife on the islands and keep your distance if you see any of these, as they may be prone to unpredictable behavior.
Above all else, for your safety and theirs, DO NOT agitate or otherwise harass the wildlife. Matt also explained; “That same day the gators came back, a woman and her daughter staying down the street walked into our backyard and started throwing small shells into the lagoon. They said they followed the path to the lagoon and wanted to see the alligators and the turtles. My dad explained there’s no path and that they were on private property.” Not to mention that it might’ve angered the gators, who are practically invisible when underwater and could ambush them when they least expect it. Also, it is illegal to harass wildlife in florida, which can lead to fines and even imprisonment.
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