Florida’s 1.3 million alligators inhabit all of the state’s 67 counties, and wildlife officials are urging the public to be careful around the reptiles. The warning comes as some gators are turning up in unlikely places.

Matthew Field

While you may be used to seeing alligators in and around lakes and ponds in Southwest Florida, it may come as a surprise they also sometimes venture to coastal waters.

New research documents instances of alligators preying on small sharks and stingrays in salt water along the Atlantic coasts of Georgia and Florida. We're joined by one of the researchers who conducted the study.

Alligator Bites Reach Record High In Florida

Aug 4, 2017

Florida is seeing a record high number of reported alligator bites this summer. With 2016 only seeing 7 alligator bites, 2017 has already surpassed that number with sixteen total so far this year. With five months left in the year, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) worries the warmer weather is pushing alligators into inhabited parts of Florida.

Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

With three reported alligator bites in as many days in Southwest Florida, and state wildlife officials reporting a record pace of 16 such bites so far in 2017, we turn to the people who work with them every day for some tips on alligator behavior and how to avoid a bite.

Walt Disney World plans to honor a Nebraska boy who was killed by an alligator at one of its resorts near Orlando with a sculpture of a lighthouse.