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With several human fatalities due to alligator attacks in Florida in Spring 2006, it is timely to review alligator safety tips. First, let's get some scale on this thing. There have been a total of 17 alligator-related fatalities reported in the United States from 1948 to 2005, or about .3 fatalities per year. There are about 40,000 highway fatalities per year in the US. You are in way greater danger driving to the swimming hole than you are when you are there - alligators or not! Drive and swim safely.

States in which you might be concerned with alligators are: Florida, Alabama, Mississipi, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico.

Here are some websites with alligator safety information:


Some conclusions from these pages are - when swimming in southern waters where alligators might be present:

  • Do not let small children or small pets (eg - dogs) swim where alligators may be present.

  • Do not swim near vegetated shore lines or other densely vegetated areas.

  • Do not swim at dusk or at night.

  • Do not swim alone.

  • Splash and make lots of noise when you swim.

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