Alligator Attack

Bonnie Boerema

© Copyright 2018 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of large alligator.
After renting a condo in Marco Island, Florida for one year, in June,2015, we bought a condo four miles from Marco Island, in Naples. Our neighbors, Fred and Jane told us an alligator story that happened a few years before we moved here. They’ve been coming down here from Boston for twenty eight years. A man that that lives in Midway Condos across the street, drove over with his dog to visit one of our residents. When he and the dog got out of the car, his dog barked. Dogs are a favorite food for alligators. An alligator raced across the rocks, and came around to the parking lot after the dog, The dog ran off, but the alligator had the man’s leg in his mouth. In minutes, the Florida Fish and Wildlife were here, and beat the alligator to death.

There are more than 1.3 million alligators in Florida alone. They grow between 11 and 13 feet, and weigh close to 800 pounds. An adult male weighs 500 pounds, and a female weighs 200 pounds. An alligator’s lifespan is 30-50 years. A one-year-old alligator brought to the Belgrade Zoo (Serbia) seventy seven years ago (now78 years old) is still alive.

They’re faster in swimming than us, and faster in running than us.In 1987, Florida declared the alligator their official state reptile. Large males are solitary, territorial animals. Males grow faster than females. With their heavy bodies and slow metabolisms, alligators are capable of short bursts of speed, exceeding 30 miles per hour. When the eggs are laid, they do not have any particular gender associated to it. The sex of baby alligators is decided by the temp of the prevailing atmosphere at the time of incubating the eggs.

Normally alligators avoid humans, but if they’ve been fed by humans, they’ll move toward them, and can become aggressive. Alligators fed by humans are dangerous. They should be reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation guys. They have a rounded snout. Their teeth keep replacing themselves. An alligator can go through 3,000 teeth in a lifetime. They have between 74 and 80 teeth in their mouth at a time.

They bite down with 2,960 pounds of force, one of the most powerful bites ever recorded for a living animal. Juvenile alligators are capable of eating 23% of their body weight in a sitting, equivalent to a 180 pound person eating over 41 pounds of steak at a meal. The biggest threat to an American alligator is other alligators. When they’re born, they’re small enough to be light snacks for their older neighbors.

A 2011 study estimated that, in one Florida lake, bigger alligators eat 6 to 7% of the juvenile population every year. Their stomach is a hostile environment. Their stomach acids have a pH of less than 2 – in the range of lemon juice and vinegar – and most soft-bodied prey is totally digested in 2-3 days.

But if you wound up in an alligator’s stomach, however, you’d stick around a bit longer. Bone and other hard parts take 13-100 days to disappear completely. They’re tough, and not just because of the bony armor in their skins. Serum in American alligators blood is incredibly effective at combating bacteria and infection.

Alligator attacks – frequency and number of unprovoked serious bites in Florida are really rare. Both alligators and crocodiles came rom dinosaurs. It’s believed that alligators have remained for the most part, over 35 million years. There are over six million acres that are suitable for alligators across the state. The Spanish gave them their name. Early Spanish settlers in Florida called them el lagarto. They likely exist in every waterway in our state. All three T.V. stations for Southwestern Florida, Channel 2, NBC, Fox 4, and Wink News frequently have alligator stories on their daily and nightly news. Somebody has encountered an alligator, either in their garage or pool.

June 15, 2016 – Police recovered the body of a two-year-old boy,Lane Graves. He was grabbed by an alligator in front of his family during a vacation at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The child was snatched by the alligator as he played at the water’s edge,and dragged into a lagoon despite his parents’ efforts to save him. His body had only a few puncture wounds, according to a source familiar with the investigation. The child was drowned by the alligator. The body was found in 6 feet of murky water 10 to 15 yards from where the boy was attacked. Alligators hunt food from just before sundown to sunrise, so they are very active around dusk.

Females are usually smaller than males. As big and ferocious as the female alligator may look, she is a gentle mother. A mother alligator makes a nest on shore, where she lays her eggs. Then she guards her eggs until they’re ready to hatch. Baby alligators typically stay with their mother for at least a year, and sometimes up to three years. Baby alligators can’t depend on their elders for a helping hand. A baby alligator sits on its mother’s head – one of a few methods they use to transport their young. They’re also found in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. They’ll eat nearly anything, but have shown a preference for dogs, chicken and marshmallows. They mostly sleep in the sun during the day, and feed at night, when they can only be detected by the red glow of their eyes.


Alligators are large, wild animals with very basic instincts, The most basic instinct is to eat, and except for mating occasionally,they have few other interests. They don’t multitask. A fully grown alligator can reach 13 feet and 600 pounds. This fully grown alligator has a brain the size of a walnut. They’ll usually be in the edges of the water, where they can hide in the reeds, and head for deeper water. An alligator has a broad head, a slightly rounded body,and thick limbs. It uses its powerful tail to propel itself through the water. The tail accounts for half the alligator’s length.

Although alligators have no vocal cords, males bellow loudly to attract mates, and warn off other males by sucking air into their lungs, and blowing it out in intermittent, deep-toned roars. The United States is the only nation on earth where both alligators and crocodiles live together. Alligators have wide u-shaped snouts and crocodiles have v-shaped snouts. They’re less violent than crocs. Alligators are darker in complexion compared to crocodiles.

They are cold-blooded animals, and cannot regulate their internal body temperature. If they want to warm up, they look for a sunny spot.

Alligator Tears – When a person is accused of crying alligator
tears, the implication is that the tears are fake, and the emotion is far from genuine. Alligators really do shed genuine tears, but only to clean and moisturize their eyes.

Monday morning this week, from our lanai, my husband and I spotted a male alligator with his whole body visible to us, swimming30 miles per hour, toward a female alligator further down the lake. April and May is their mating season. Week before last, a roofing company was here, putting a new roof on all of our condos, due to the damage done by Hurricane Irma last September. At lunch time,a catering truck came out to feed the roofers. There was a very large male alligator, with his mouth on the rocks. All the pounding on the roof, and the smell of food had lured him out of the water. Eaten by an alligator is definitely not the way I want to go out of this world.

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