How many alligator attacks are there in Florida each year?
A new alligator attack in Florida, resulting in the death of a woman, raises more questions about the dangers for people who live near these animals.
An elderly woman died after falling into a pond and being attacked by two alligators at a Florida golf course on Friday, authorities have said. She was just yet another victim of alligator attacks, a problem that plagues the southern state and has only gotten worse over the last decade. An alligator trapper removed the animals involved, although it was already too late to save the woman.
Number of alligators in Florida
The reason there is even a problem with alligator attacks is their super-population, as this species’ headcount is over one million just in the state of Florida, which means one alligator per twenty residents. Alligators were on the endangered species list back in the 1980s, but have since come off of it and are now all too common in certain areas. There is even a stretch of I-75, spanning about 80 miles, called “Alligator Alley” due to their omnipresence.
How many attacks and deaths have there been?
There are statistics focused on alligator bites in Florida dating back to 1948, with an average of three major attacks per year. There were more than two dozen deaths out of 442 unprovoked attacks between 1948 and 2021, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In the last decade, these attacks have increased to around ten per year.
Every year there are more than ten thousand nuisance complaints due to the presence of alligators near humans, which leads to over 7,000 of them being removed each year.
What to do if an alligator attacks
The aforementioned commission has recommendations on how to avoid an aggressive encounter with an alligator.
You are not supposed to feed them, as it is illegal and will make the alligators come closer. You should also keep yourself and your pets away from the water and only swim in designated safe areas, keeping your distance if you ever see one. If an encounter with an alligator ever becomes dangerous, the only advice is the obvious one: run away as fast as you can.
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