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LOUISIANA Nuisance Alligators

Related Categories: Louisiana Swamp Tours ~ Louisiana Alligators ~ Louisiana Alligator History ~ Louisiana Alligator Hunting/Harvesting

Nuisance Alligators
in Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has a Nuisance Alligator Program which receives over 2,200 calls annually with complaints about problem alligators. These complaints are given to the 65 alligator hunters who are licensed to harvest them or relocate them. Only smaller alligators are relocated and around 3,000 nuisance alligators are killed each year when it is determined that the alligators have become dangerous to humans, pets or livestock..

The mere fact that you see an alligator in an unexpected place is not considered a nuisance alligator. Alligators are sometimes just moving around and will go about their way if left alone. It is when they become a threat to people, their pets or livestock that you need to take action. Most visible alligators are the smaller ones who have been pushed out of their birth habitat by larger alligators. They are often looking for a new home or a new mate and will usually mosey on their way if left alone. LDWF suggests that you give them as much time as you can for them to move on before calling in a complaint.

Remember that if you hear hissing then you are much too close to the alligator. It’s their way of letting you know they are getting upset with you. In general they are afraid of humans and will most often retreat. If you happen upon a ‘gator’ it is advised that you slowly back up. Even though they can run as fast as 35 mph., they do not usually charge at humans with the exception being Momma Gators who charge to remove threats to their young.

alligator sunning
Alligators are cold-bloodied reptiles and during cold weather times are often seen basking in the sun on the banks near ponds or other waters. They may also bask with their mouths wide open which is their natural way to control their temperature. If you do encounter such an alligator, making very loud noises can frighten them back into the water.

You can learn more about nuisance alligators on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website.

How to Report a Nuisance Alligator. Anyone having concerns with a nuisance alligator situation can contact any Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries offices to make a complaint. You will be issued a nuisance alligator complaint number and given information for the nuisance alligator hunter covering that area. Here is a link to the LDWF’s Nuisance Alligator Contacts.

DOs and DON’Ts
with Louisiana Alligators
LDWF-logo Louisiana Department of  Wildlife and Fisheries
The following are the ‘DOs and DON’Ts” for Living with Alligators in Louisiana as per the Louisiana Depart of Wildlife and Fisheries.

call your local LDWF office if you encounter a nuisance gator that has lost its fear of people.

Do- closely supervise children when playing in or around water.

Do- use ordinary common sense and precautions. Swim only during daylight hours.

Do- inform others that feeding alligators creates safety problems for others who want to use the water for recreational purposes.

Do- dispose of fish scraps in garbage cans at most boat ramps or fish camps.

Do- enjoy viewing and photographing wild alligators from a safe distance of at least 50 feet or more. Remember that they're an important part of Louisiana's natural history, as well as an integral component of many wetland ecosystems.

kill, harass, molest or attempt to move alligators. State law prohibits such actions, and the potential for being bitten or injured by a provoked alligator is high.

Don’t- allow small children to play by themselves in or around water.

Don’t- swim at night or during dusk or dawn when alligators most actively feed.

Don’t- feed or entice alligators. Alligators overcome their natural shyness and become accustomed or attracted to humans when fed.

Don’t- throw fish scraps into the water or leave them on shore. Although you are not intentionally feeding alligators, the end result can be the same.

Don’t- remove any alligators from their natural habitat or accept one as a pet. It is a violation of state law to do so. Alligators do not become tame in captivity and handling even small ones may result in bites. In particular, never go near hatchling/young alligators or pick them up. They may seem cute and harmless, but the mother alligator will be nearby, and will protect her clutch for at least two years.

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