We went for a little nature walk at the Oakland Wildlife Preserve. The last time we were here it was cold outside so we decided to see what the place was like during the summer. The alligator above was out at the dock, and as soon as there was any splashing in the water he charged over to investigate. Gators can detect movement like this through sensory spots, and though their skin seems quite tough, they have an acute sense of touch. I guess even a blind alligator can find its prey. Its no surprise that he would respond to noise or movement in the water, but there was also chicken meat on top of some of the surrounding flora. I guess someone's aim was a little off. The problem I have with this, is that he is now being conditioned to be a nuisance gator. You feed him at this dock but he has access to a large area that includes many peoples back yards. He now associates human noise and activity with a meal, and appears like a stalker to other human residents. I'm not saying this is what happens in every instance leading up to an attack because they are predators. But if you feed the ducks and pigeons they all come, right. I have never heard of anyone killed by a duck or a pigeon though, and the problem with gators is that people are already afraid of them. They are beautiful and deserve respect, part of which is giving them space. Don't feed the Gators. If you want to see them getting fed then go here: Gatorland.
Forty years old and still in awe of the outdoors.