Sometimes you hear so much on the news about alligators, snakes and bugs in Florida that it sounds like your going to a jungle on your Orlando Vacation! Well I can tell you to relax, as like all things the critter stories are mostly overblown. Yes, Florida is home to lots of exotic looking wildlife,,,, out in the woods and swamps.
But just like your not going to see a bear in NY city even though New York state does have bears, your not likely to see any alligators or snakes. For the sake of this post, let me talk about the Florida alligators. Now there are plenty of alligators in Florida, most of them small around 2 to 4 feet long. However they can grow up to 18 feet or more in the swamps.
Just about any place that has water will have an alligator. In fact it’s surprising how common they are in small ponds and streams. I jog along a lake each night, and I often see about 6 or so cruising the edges. Alligators main diet is fish, frogs, ducks and any type of small animal that gets too close. Yes that also means cats and dogs.
Most of the time alligators are very afraid of humans. I’ve seen plenty of kids go swimming in ponds while a few gators swim around 50 feet or so away. The fact is gators hardly ever bother humans. However the more people move onto what use to be wetlands and crowd them out, the more frequent the contact is of them.
Sometimes you get one that has been fed by humans and then they lose their fear of them. It’s only a matter of time once that happens that something bad takes place. It will attack someone, or try to grab a dog or cat, or wonder away from the water and onto lawns. That’s when animal control has to come and kill it.
So please, never feed an alligator, your not doing it any favors. So just how much chance do you have of seeing a gator? If your doing the normal Orlando vacation stuff, I would say,,,, zero! Your going to be in the tourist, busy area, not the swamps. So don’t worry about running into an alligator.
Now, if you actually WANT to see some, then you can do that very easily too. There are lots of airboat ride places that will take you out to the swamps and rivers and you can see dozens of gators, as well as lots of other wildlife. If you know where to look you can walk around small ponds and lakes and see them slowly floating or swimming around.
Of course you can see lots of them at Disney’s Animal Kingdom too, lol! Gatorland is another place with lots of big alligators and other reptiles. So don’t worry about getting bit by an alligator, or having Fifi get ate by one. The odds of you ever seeing one are slim. If you do happen to be staying by a large pond or lake, then just keep your eyes open around it! 😉