Through running a Gator Park and giving alligator tours near Orlando, we’ve heard misperceptions about the American alligator for years. Since Floridians and gators share the waterways, we think it’s important to set the record straight and educate you 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.
Myth #1: Gators have poor eyesight
Alligators actually have very good eyesight, which allows them to hunt well. They have the ability to 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.
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 it is unlikely for them 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 in order to get near water or escape captivity.
To learn more cool facts about alligators and see these animals up close, take an airboat tour with us at Wild Florida. Our airboat adventure not only gives you the opportunity to see real, wild alligators in their natural habitat, but you can see other wild animals like bald eagles, turtles, different species of birds, and snakes.