Alligators are predators: steer clear


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Alligators are dangerous, and the wrong move can spell death. After the deadly attack in South Carolina, one Brunswick County swamp park is hoping people will learn from this.

Shallotte River Swamp Park General Manager George Howard says there are 13 different alligators at the park. Alligators that can be deadly. He was upset when he heard about the woman killed while walking her dog in Hilton Head. He’s also frustrated that many people seem to forget that alligators are still predators.

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“We deal with alligators. They’re everywhere. We have to just be cognizant of that. For the folks who are coming to us from everywhere around the world, as tourists, they have to know what is here and what can happen,” Howard said.

Howard says what happened in South Carolina could have been the result of mistaken identity.

“If they can’t quite get their eyes around to see what they’re doing, they may have been absolutely going for the dog and if she moved that dog and then her body was there , the alligator didn’t know that that was the case and it just continued on its path of ‘I’m going to get what it is that I’m after,'” Howard said.

These alligators at the swamp park are rescues and are used for educational purposes. Howard says while you should avoid walking animals near the edge of ponds, if you do come face to face with one of these reptiles,”pick up the small dog and just walk straight away. You don’t need to run, you don’t need to do anything. Be aware of your surroundings of course, but just walk away because any body of water in the Southeast, could potentially have an alligator in it.”

Howard also says people should stop trying to feed alligators because then alligators associate humans with getting food.