Nuisance Alligators on the Rise

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Posted 12/11/06, 4:00 pm.

Officers say alligators are scaring the public at Tallahassee's busy shopping center on the corner of Ocala and Tennessee, so they're turning to Fish and Game for training on tackling alligators.

Rope ‘em up, tie ‘em up and bring ‘em to shore. The experts are doing it, and now so are officers with Tallahassee Animal Control.

Nuisance calls are piling up and experts say it's time to reel ‘em in. Thanks to a higher gator population and a lot of bad press, gator calls are on the rise.

Steve Stiegler, a wildlife biologist, said, "That press does tend to generate more alligator calls, but in general we've had an increasing number of all calls over the last several years."

One of the culprits lies right in the heart of Seminole country on the corner of Ocala and Tennessee. Animal Control received several calls about a gator getting a little too close to the public. In one case it was sunning itself in the Publix parking lot.

Jeff Doyle, Tallahassee Animal Control Supervisor, said, "The Florida Fish and Wildlife has recently issued us a special use permit so that we can capture and relocate nuisance alligators under four feet, so we had to get the permit first and now today we're going to get some training on it."

The nuisance gator was not sunning in the parking lot today, but officers say if it does they're ready to nab it.

Gators must be under four feet in length. The other ones have to be handled by wranglers with Fish and Wildlife. They expect to relocate alligators to Lake Iamonia.