Alligator attacks in Florida have become more common especially with the fast-growing land developments where there used to be wooded areas. Without their secluded natural habitat, alligators are getting closer to residential areas through connected lakes, canals, ponds and streams. This causes interaction and conflicts with people occur more often. Remember that alligators play an important role in the ecology of our state's wetlands. Even though we can't control nature, we can alert and educate the people around us.
If you have a business or live in a residential area close to canals, lakes or nature preserves where alligators can have access, you might consider posting signs to alert customers or residents that alligators are present in the area. Signs are useful in preventing alligator encounters and to prevent possible lawsuits for negligence. Signs should be visible and clear for everyone to see. It is also recommended to verify the city code for sign postage in your area. Some recommended signs are as follows:
- No Swimming. Alligators frequent this area.
- Keep your pets on a leash and away from the water's edge. Small dogs and cats are similar in size to the natural prey of alligators.
- Keep your distance! If you see an alligator, notify the proper authorities.
- Never feed an alligator. It is dangerous and illegal. By feeding them you are associating humans with food.
- Leave alligators alone. State law prohibits harassing or possessing alligators. To report wildlife violations, call (888) 404-3922.
Lastly, if you encounter an alligator that you believe poses a threat to people, pets or property, call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at (866) 392-4286. Please note that nuisance alligators are killed, and not relocated. If an alligator is not endangering anyone, you might want to contact other organizations that will remove and relocate alligators to a sanctuary or back to the wildlife.
From an insurance standpoint, make sure you are carrying adequate liability limits to protect you if brought into a lawsuit.
Looking for more information? Contact Park & Associates Insurance today!