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Florida's Gators: What's really happening?

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posted on May, 17 2006 @ 12:07 PM
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Alligator Story

You've heard about the 3 deadly attacks all done in one week, compared to about 19 attacks over 50 years, and that it's probably because of the dry weather and it's mating season, however it's doesn't explain enough to me why is it that there is a sudden rise in alligator/human interaction since we've had mating season every year and dry conditions are not uncommon in Florida. But today's story of the alligator sitting on the porch at the front door is getting to be bizarre. And I cannot think that the same conditions that alway happen are the trigger for this sudden chain of events. Something very strange is happening.

Are alligators as sensitive as birds are to changes in our magnetic fields? What could be causing them to leave their habitats and become aggressive. This is happening all over Florida and is not localized to one specific county or gator population. Normal alligator behavior shows a shy creature who will watch you warily and avoid contact unless provoked. So why is an alligator walking up the front door and waiting to ambush people now?

Woman Shoots Gator That Attacks Her Dog

This is a bad situation for both people and the alligators. Floridians are surrounded by canals, waterways and lakes and the poor gators are being killed as they are caught. I know it's our fault for displacing gators in the first place but I don't think what is going on is "normal" in any sense. Something has triggered the gators, what could it be??




posted on May, 17 2006 @ 12:41 PM
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I think this is really mainly due to Human encroachment into the Alligators natural habitat. More and more humans are moving into areas Alligators were living long before humans even came down from the Trees. Such attacks are bound to rise when that happens.

But I think also its inpart due to the fact that people forget just how dangerous these animals are. We are talking about as near-perfect a predator that we get on earth. One that outlived the dinosaurs with 2,500+ psi of Jaw pressure which dwarfs that of even a Great white shark. This IMO could be seen in one of these three cases. The one in which the girl was snorkling in the Canal. When you go snorkling in the domain of a Apex predator like that you shouldnt be shocked when you get attacked.

I just hope this doesn't spark some Alligator killing spree. I heard they are opening hunting season early because of these attacks. The sad thing is you still more likely to be killed by a Falling coconut then a American alligator. But people will panic because of these few attacks.

[edit on 17-5-2006 by ShadowXIX]



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 01:14 PM
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what are the statistics ? Is 3 attacks really a huge spike ?

Can anyone say for sure how many attacks there are per year, and per month ?


deny media hype !



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 01:40 PM
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Im with Shadow on this.

Loss of habitat, destruction of natural food sources will make any normally shy wild animal more prone to prey on civilized areas and people. The alligators have to live somewhere, and as long as more and more people are building in their terrirtory and leaving less room for the alligators to live, plus destroying habitat where the alligators food lives, the alligators have no where left to live and hunt so they will make opportunities in people inhabited areas.

The same is happening in India with tigers and leopards, and in south American with Jaguars and camians.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 01:41 PM
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Since 1948- 2004 only 15 deaths have been reported in the US due to alligator attacks.
www.allenpress.com...
Its a interesting article on the subject circa 2005 and its conclusions was "As human population encroaches on the habitat of Alligators attacks will increase.


So thats like .25 deaths a year on average for that time period, So this is a spike.

Lighting kills something like a average of 67 people per year in the US. So your odds are much higher to struck and killed by lighting or killed by a shark then a Alligator even with this recent spike



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 01:47 PM
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There is an analgous situation happeing in the Lake Tahoe area here.
This time, it's pets versus Coyotes. Which is actually pretty common, but it's been more concentrated at the Lake this year. Same deal, human encroachment.
And of course the ability of certain animals to be flexible in their eating habits.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 01:47 PM
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Human development in wetlands is certainly a contributing factor, however that City of Sunrise example, is a long established community, this isn't new development and sudden displacement we're talking about. Sunrise is a major suburb/city of Fort Lauderdale, we are not rural boondock type of city in the middle of the everglades. We are a busy, metropolitan area..I live in Sunrise btw. IMO, over the past 50 years, since the development boom, gators and floridians have coexisted fairly peacefully without much interaction. People here are wary gators and we give them much respect, so again I don't believe this is people being stupid, seeing a gator and then approaching them. This imo is something different, has their food supply completely dissappeared? and if so what's killing the little critters that gators usually prey on? And where has their wariness of humans suddenly dissappear to?

[edit on 5-17-2006 by worldwatcher]



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by worldwatcher
Human development in wetlands is certainly a contributing factor, however that Sunrise example, is a long established community, this isn't new development and sudden displacement we're talking about. IMO, over the past 50 years, since the development boom, gators and floridians have coexisted fairly peacefully without much interaction. People here are wary gators and we give them much respect, so again I don't believe this is people being stupid, seeing a gator and then approaching them. This imo is something different, has their food supply completely dissappeared? and if so what's killing the little critters that gators usually prey on? And where has their wariness of humans suddenly dissappear to?


it doesnt matter if a community has been around 10 years or two hundred. Habitat all over is being destroyed, and gators have to go somewhere. the do not care how long a community has existed. If gators from elsewhere are pushing in on other gator territories, the gators have to do something.

Destruction of food is a big issue. All sorts of things can destroy the gators food. Pollutants, pesticides and herbicides from lawn and gardneing, industrial waste, waste from boats and camping people, just to name a few. If gators traditional food supply is shrinking, timid animals will adapt and change their source of food to survive. if gators cant fins tasty birds or fish, they might decide a human probably will do.

Animals can and do change their behavior if it means survival.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 01:58 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Since 1948- 2004 only 15 deaths have been reported in the US due to alligator attacks.
So thats like .25 deaths a year on average for that time period, So this is a spike.


But you're comparing a tiny period of time to an artificially smoothed-out (averaged) long period of time. So of course it's gonna look like a spike.

What if you were to take a week where there were no alligator attacks at all and compare that to your "average" since 1948. Wouldn't it look like some kind of dramatic decrease?

Anyway, I know exactly what caused it. Them Gators is mad cause they can't git their hands on another S.E.C. Football Championship and their old coach has left to coach somewhere else, just up the road!

Seriously, anybody here care to venture a guess on the population of Florida from 1958 to, say, 1988? The population increase in Florida since around 1988 is greater than the entire population was in the late forties and fifties. Also, in those years, the alligators were greatly reduced in number. Remember, it wasn't all that long ago that alligators were considered a "threatened species," might have even been endangered, I don't recall. Since then, the Crocodilian and Homo (no pun intended, but parts of Florida do have some extremely relaxed attitudes towards sexual preferences) populations have literally exploded. I'm absolutely certain this accounts for any "spike" that might occur in alligator related deaths, real or perceived.

Harte



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by worldwatcher
People here are wary gators and we give them much respect, so again I don't believe this is people being stupid


Snorkeling in Gator territory is pretty stupid IMO. Which was the case with Annemarie Campbell one of the three victims. The ocean isnt even that far from really any area in Flordia and offers much better snorkeling then any canal.

Its beyond me why someone would be snorkeling around gators



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 02:00 PM
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Why the increased frequency in wild animal attacks? Not just alligators, but cougars, wolves and bears too......why?

the four horsemen shall be "given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth."

"wild beasts"...and the killing begins.

[edit on 17-5-2006 by zerotolerance]



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 02:04 PM
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As a Floridian ,I can tell you this has been something on the brink for some years now. Florida currently is in the annual drought period until late June. There are now over 1.5 million gators here in Florida with ever shrinking habitats. This confrontation was inevitable.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 04:16 PM
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great.

it's our fault and now we're going to extend hunting season and kill them.


oops I forgot the link, there's another attack, this time of a puppy. 5 incidents so far now
www.nbc6.net...


Dog In Royal Palm Beach Killed By Alligator
Authorities say a six-foot alligator killed a Yorkie-Maltese mix in Royal Palm Beach.

Michael Rochefort said his dog ran outside his interior design shop Tuesday and straight to a nearby retention pond.

The gator quickly grabbed the dog, Malibu, and swam away. Trappers captured the alligator they believe killed the dog.

They plan to trap two other gators seen in the pond



[edit on 5-17-2006 by worldwatcher]



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 04:43 PM
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I have to confess I find this whole issue regarding alligators . . . and sharks and bears . . . attacking people to be very amusing. We are reaping what we have sown.

Man has continued to breed at an absurd pace, encroaching upon and destroying wild habitats as he goes. This is just another episode in the ongoing battle between a species, which arrogantly considers itself supreme, and the forces of Mother Nature.

I am always rooting for Mom.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 04:57 PM
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It doesn't have to do with the increase in human population, it has to do with the increase of the gator population. The alligator was protected for so long that it has made a huge come back. The other problem is the feeding of alligators by people. This causes them to lose their fear of people and they come in search of food.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 10:14 PM
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Greetings,

Since many people were displaced by hurricane Katrina and also moved to different states, couldn't the same thing be happening with these alligators?

Does anyone recall this story?
New Orleans family devastated by Katrina is robbed at gunpoint of $18,000 in FEMA cash at temporary Hayward home

I can recall hearing about families in other states dealing with local citizens who were rivaling with them also.

There could be some kind of competition going on between the native gators and the displaced gators and that over food and territory.


God Bless



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 11:09 PM
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Is the population of florida growing more so in more recent years? I'd think it must be. And are developments spreading out? That seems likely. Interactions between humans and unusual animals (like all the wackiness with coyotes recently) are going to become more common, especially as these animal's behaviour's adapt to dealing with human environments.

And notice, coyotes are successful generalist animals, they'd be expected to do well in urban or human environments. Gators are extremely successfull generalists, and have been around for an incredibly long time, they're not going to go anywhere anytime soon, so we might be seeing them adapting to human environments or 'humanscapes'.


But these few incidents wrt gators seem too small a 'sample' to be reliable to make and conclusions out of. Interesting information to speculate upon though.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 11:14 PM
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Originally posted by zerotolerance
"wild beasts"...and the killing begins.

I think that the apocalypse would have to involve a little more than a few bear attacks! When armies of bear warriors storm into cities, then we can start talking about the apocalypse.



posted on May, 18 2006 @ 07:06 AM
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Its funny that alligators are getting all of the attention. They have only killed 3 people this year. How many have been killed in accidents involving deer ? I know of 5 this year and that is just Western Pennsylvania. Of course Bambi doesn't provide the same image as a gator attack. Media hype at its finest.



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 11:55 PM
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JIMC

there must be huge population increase in Whitetails there huh?
I notice that last fall, when I drove down from Pittsburg to West Virgina.
There were dead deer all over the place..I was amazed..Are they allowing for multiple kills
during the hunting seasons in PA?
Of course, the deer aren't killing people for food, they are just trying to cross the road.

As for the Gators...Maybe we should call it " A reptile Dysfunction"



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