While running a Gator Park and giving alligator tours near Orlando, Wild Florida has heard misperceptions about the American alligator for years. Since gators can be found throughout Florida, we think it’s important to set the record straight and educate visitors about these iconic Florida reptiles.
Alligator Quick Facts:
- The average length of an alligator is 9-15 feet long.
- Alligators live in freshwater environments such as lakes, ponds, swamps, and marshes.
- When a baby alligator hatches, it measures 6 to 8 inches in length.
- The three most common myths associated with the wild alligator population are that they have poor eyesight, you should run from them in a zig-zag motion, and they are not good climbers.
Myth #1: Gators have poor eyesight
Alligators actually have very good eyesight, which allows them to hunt well. They can see and sense the movement of potential prey because their eyes are placed on the sides of their head. This gives them a wide sight range and excellent peripheral vision. The only place they cannot see is directly behind them. During a Wild Florida Gator Feeding Show you can watch for yourself how gators will see the food and jump high for it.
Myth #2: You should run away from an alligator in a “zig-zag” motion
It is incredibly rare for an alligator to seek out a human to prey on because we are far too large to be a suitable meal. Although, if they do charge at you, run fast and directly (in a straight line) away from the gator, as they have a blind spot between their eyes. Alligators are considered opportunistic hunters, so they are unlikely to chase after you. But, if you are near their nest, they might become more aggressive to protect their nests.
Myth #3: Alligators are not good climbers
Alligators have sharp claws and powerful tails to help them push their bodies up. Young alligators are especially agile climbers, and adults have been known to climb fences to get near water or escape captivity.
To learn more cool facts about alligators and see these animals up close, take a Wild Florida airboat tour on your next vacation. Their airboat adventure not only gives you the opportunity to see real, wild alligators in their natural habitat, but you can also see other wild animals like bald eagles, turtles, different species of birds, and snakes.