Alligator attack - Myakka River, Florida

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OP
DandyDon

DandyDon

Old men ought to be explorers
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I mentioned that we walk around sunning alligators in Texas state parks, but don't let children or dogs run loose around them. We took the toddlers camping south of Austin last year at Palmetto SP where I could set up my tent near the cabin everyone else enjoyed between a spring-fed pond and a river, but kept them under close control. Any water south of Dallas is gator country altho they have been found further north.
She wasn't "foolhardy" as much as she became a mama bear for her dogs. Maternal and paternal instincts are atavistic and often irrational. It's not the size of the girl in that fight, but the size of the fight in that girl.
I suppose that dogs will naturally run forward to harass a bear invading their territory, like my daughter's herd barks at me at the front door even tho they know me - shortly before competing to sit in my lap. I'd run out myself to defend any of our children, but I'm sure I'd yell from safety at dogs. I hope that the game wardens got that sow and her cubs relocated to a safe area ok. People leaving dumpsters unlocked and pet food outside are what habituates bears to enter towns, but I can even get my neighbors to close dumpster lids for fly control.
 

ReefGuy

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I've dove with alligators for years and years. Some of them quite large, like 14'. They are not usually a problem, unless they've been fed. This completely changes their behavior.

This, however, wasn't a feeding issue. This was a territory issue. When this happened, it was smack in the middle of mating season. Probably a young male, around 6' - 8'. We have had several on peoples' porches around here.

Venice Beach is a better option this time of year. You can hit Peace River and Myakka after nesting season (which I think is through mid July), when it is much safer.
 

jejton

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Myakka is an alligator hot spot. Not sure it was the smartest place to go diving to begin with. While alligators tend to spend most of their time in the freshwater, they do go into brackish and occasionally saltwater. Attacks by alligators are extremely rare here, and I've spent a bit of time hiking and paddling around them. The recorded attacks are usually attributed to territorial males during breeding season (i.e. now) and people walking small dogs along the freshwater and then trying to intervene when the gator tries to eat the dog (there was just such a case in the Miami area a few years ago). American crocodile attacks are even rarer due to habitat loss, even though they are felt to be more aggressive, they are quite rare and for the most part live in areas where few people go (saltwater areas of the Everglades).
 

John C. Ratliff

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I'm a Fish!
I heard an interview with the gal who pushed the bear off her porch, and she didn’t realize it was a bear until after she had pushed it. She said something to the effect, “My goodness, that was a bear!”

SeaRat
 

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