Expert gives alligator safety tips for summer - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Expert gives alligator safety tips for summer

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

One week after a deadly alligator attack in Orlando, questions are turning to how safe you are in water closer to home.

Whether you've thought about it or not, there are likely alligators in the Mississippi waters where you enjoy recreational activities.

"Those people would be extremely shocked to understand how many alligators really are out there that they're not seeing," explained Ricky Flynt, alligator program coordinator at the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. "And those alligators are not causing any sort of a problem."

Flynt says the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks has gotten more calls about alligator nuisance since the incident in Orlando.

Could it happen in Mississippi? 

"We've never documented and alligator attack, on a human, in the state of Mississippi," Flynt says. "We do have attacks, every year, that involve pets, whether that's dogs or cats, and even livestock."

Flynt is around the creatures and studies their behavior. He gave advice about what to look out for in the water this summer. 

"Normally in the wild, they'll absolutely avoid people and human activity at all costs. That's their normal behavior - to go underwater and move away," Flynt says. "Unfortunately, we have encroached on many of these habitats where alligators exist."

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