The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says during the summer months, alligators are more active and officials are encouraging the public to not feed the giant reptilians. LDWF fur and alligator program manager Jeb Linscombe says feeding gators may result in someone getting bit when a gator approaches another human looking for a snack.
“He or she just associates you with food and they may come toward you and approach you, not necessarily to attack you, but they just assume you have food and that’s a very very bad thing,” said Linscombe.
Linscombe says there are instances where people may be feeding gators and they do not even realize they are doing so.
“When you’re cleaning fish at your camp and you dump scraps in the water, that’s inadvertently feeding them. If you are having a picnic and throw half of a sandwich into the water, that’s also inadvertently feeding them,” said Linscombe.
Linscombe says the high waters around the state mean people are seeing more gators in areas where they may not be used to seeing them.
“Anywhere you have moving water, not just flood water, any moving water through an area, it typically attracts small fish, which attracts larger fish, which attracts alligators, so flooding is definitely a part of the equation,” said Linscombe.
You can find a list of gator “do’s and don’t’s” at LAGatorProgram.com. And if you want to interact with alligators and feed them, go on a New Orleans swamp tour or something, don’t risk it in your backyard!