Alligator population growing in North Alabama, attacks are rare

Alligator population growing in North Alabama, attacks are rare

NORTH ALABAMA (WAFF) - Environmentalists said what happened to the boy in Florida is obviously tragic but it's highly unlikely something like that could happen here. Although when an alligator does attack, it can quickly turn deadly.

"Oh they can eat you, no problem," Bill Gates with the Fish and Wildlife Service said.

Gates has a healthy respect for alligators, although he said attacks are rare.

"Right now we don't know of any incidents involving people and alligators here," Gates said.

Even sightings are unlikely.

"They're not common in North Alabama," Gates said.

And the ones here are pretty skittish.

"They will move away from me when I approach them,"Gates said.

It's once alligators lose that fear of people that problems arise. That happens once people start feeding gators.

"They associate people with food," Gates said. "So that's what creates the danger. If there's one thing I could say not to do it's to feed alligators."

Although scary, Gates said your chance of getting attacked by a gator is slim to none.

"It's really very rare," Gates said. "Bees kill more people than alligators."

Copyright 2016 WAFF. All rights reserved.