> Hundreds of gators flock to a Florida sinkhole According to a 2015 survey, “the (Florida) lake that had the most gators overall was Lake George, located on the St. Johns River. Even if you don’t stay in the lodge, stroll through the lobby and check out Old Joe, an 11-foot taxidermy gator, shot dead by a poacher in 1966. And you’ll have plenty of places in captivity or the wild to choose from when you set out to observe some of the remaining creatures of the dinosaur age. The content for this web site has been provided both by professional travel writers and by individual consumers. In one survey, FWC counted 2,322 gators, 26 of which were bull gators. Over the past year, strange alligator sightings have occurred all over the United States. Lots of golfers start or end their round of miniature golf by feeding the alligators. Minnesota calls itself the land of lakes with its 10,000 watery holes, but Florida has about 30,000. The largest ever caught in the sunshine state reportedly measured up to a staggering 17.4 feet-long. Call (941) 361-6511 for details. Besides gators, which often are spied sunning next to turtles, you will see all manner of Florida birds. The response typically involves sending a licensed trapper to locate and remove the animal. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates there are 1.3 million gators statewide and about 13,000 in Lake Jesup. In fact, Florida is the flattest state in the country. An estimated 1.3 million alligators live in Florida, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife. Run straight away from an alligator, not zigzag. The Shark Valley entrance is on U.S. 41 Tamiami Trail in Miami. Grace Eberhart, 70, female: October 3, 1993: She was killed by one or more alligators at Lake Serenity, Sumter County, Florida. Alligator attacks are uncommon but they still happen (Florida has had 24 fatal attacks in 60 years). The question of where to see alligators in Florida might be better phrased, where don’t you see alligators in Florida? Keep your eyes peeled for alligators, especially moms and babies. They also conduct mercury tests on alligators. A caveat to those who want to see gators in their natural habitats (and we are not talking football players at the University of Florida): Don’t feed them. It didn't take long to find a half dozen on the shores of Lake Apopka. Gators have killed about 50 people since we've been keeping track," said FWC Officer Brian Baine. You can rest assured that each one is home to gators. The chance of someone being attacked is one in 3.2 million. At the end, there’s a platform to observe and feed the reptiles. In one survey, FWC counted 2,322 gators, 26 of which were bull gators. The lake that had the most gators overall was Lake George, located on the St. Johns River. Pay a small entrance fee, and head out along the nature trails. Most people know alligators get just about everywhere in Florida, but now they’ve really leveled up. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. Gatorama is an iconic Florida roadside attraction that has been drawing gator-curious tourists since 1957. Here are some of the best places to see alligators in Florida: The Shark Valley entrance to Everglades National Park is on U.S. 41 Tamiami Trail in Miami, and you're sure to see an abundance of alligators there. There's a lot of lakes in Florida that are artificially created that don't naturally have alligators like the lakes that they make inside of resort communities. Regardless of that, it still has plenty of Old Florida charm. According to FWC's 2015 survey data, an area of Stick Marsh in northwest Indian River County had the most bull gators. Alligators have inhabited Florida's marshes, swamps, rivers and lakes for many centuries, and are found in all 67 counties. That is illegal and can condition them to associate food with people. Located in the heart of Seminole County along the middle basin of the St. Johns, the lake encompasses an area of approximately 16,000 acres (65 km²), including open water and floodplain. They provide the sound mufflers to protect ears from the roar of the motor and make it a point of getting riders as close as possible to alligators. Florida alligator bite statistics date back to 1948, ranging around three major bites per year. The largest Florida alligator on record was just over 14 ft. in length. Alligators are not particularly dangerous, but they still pose a risk. At another survey, 2,016 were counted there with 43 bull gators. The Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the Western Everglades is 13,000 acres of natural Florida east of Interstate 75 in Collier County and 45 miles northeast of Naples. St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. As far as Lake Apopka, it, too, was surveyed twice with 1,014 gators with 46 bulls at one time, 788 gators with 21 bulls at another. Lake Kissimmee came in second for the most gators with 1,935 counted with 170 bull gators. After seeing Florida’s alligators, return to the beauty and comfort of a home from Naples Florida Vacation Homes. We live on this lake. In 2016, the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program received 12,759 nuisance alligator complaints, resulting in removal of 8,050 alligators. Not a theme park exactly, but the Florida Aquarium in Tampa has a wonderful exhibit of baby gators in which they can be spied above and below the water through a glass wall. There are plenty of gators in the river, which runs through 57 square miles, but the truly adventurous take the easy five-mile round trip hike to Deep Hole, a sinkhole on the edge of the river that attracts dozens of gators. Videos from last week show one swimming in … Small children should not swim alone or be left unattended on the shore of a large Florida lake. Along the Tamiami Trail, which runs through the Miccosukee Indian reservation, are companies offering airboat rides (and sometimes kayak rentals), among them Wooten’s, Tigertail, Osceola and Buffalo Tiger. The lake boasts one of the longest free-standing bridges, part of the Seminole Expressway, which bisec… There have been 23 fatalities caused by wild alligators in Florida since 1973, among 383 unprovoked bites not caused by someone handling or intentionally harassing an alligator. The two highways through the Everglades and across the state are Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley) and U.S 41 (Tamiami Trail) to its south. Wakulla, south of Tallahassee, is one of the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs. Best seen by airboat, and the 417 bridge is beautiful lighted at night crossing the lake. How can you see alligators in the Everglades? According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, Lake George near the St. Johns River in northwest Florida has the most, with more than 2,300. After catching the alligator, it's time for paperwork, and the gator-wranglers look more like medics. We had family that ranged from 6 yrs old to over 60 and everyone really enjoyed it and I would highly recommend trying it if you are in the Lake Placid / Sebring area of Central Florida. For that, FWC biologists need an airboat and lights for the nighttime excursion. "By and large, gators don't kill people in Florida. ), and boat rides. Merritt Island State Wildlife Refuge east of Titusville on the Space Coast is home to many Florida critters, including gators. Then there’s the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park where brave souls can zip line over alligators and crocodiles, and Gatorama in Palmdale, east of Lake Okeechobee. 4. Gators hide when it’s windy. Every year, FWC officers do surveys to see how many gators are living in each lake and how many of those qualify as bull gators. No, the gators don’t play putt-putt, but for humans who do at Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf, there’s a reptile experience. at cafes or nearby restaurants. This a good multi-generational excursion that provides a gentle experience, plus the boats are handicap accessible. VISIT FLORIDA® is the Official Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation. The lake that had the most gators overall was Lake George, located on the St. Johns River. Lake Kissimmee near Orlando comes in second with just shy of 2,000. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has a statewide program dedicated to handling nuisance alligators. Here you can take tram tours and rent bicycles to ride on the paths. Alligators appear in multiple places around the continental United States, but they're most predominantly known for living in Florida because of the Everglades and a large number of swamps. Alligators are the thing here. Seeing gators on the state’s lakes is most likely the experience of fishermen who are on the hunt for bass and sunfish. Statewide, 6,700 nuisance alligators w ere killed or relocated in 2017. Florida is renowned as one of the towed water sports capitals of the world due to year round subtropical climate and ample access to tree-lined lakes. Wildlife officials shot the alligator, which was still holding the lifeless body of the boy 20 hours later. The Everglades Alligator Farm is a great stop for travelers heading to the Florida Keys who want to take an airboat ride and see a wildlife show. Gators were once on the brink of extinction in the Sunshine State but aggressive conservation efforts reversed their decline. If you call the nuisance hotline … An alligator's snout is broad and has a U-shape, while a crocodile's snout is more narrow with a V-shape. View our privacy policy. Check out our blog on 3 differences between an alligator and a crocodile! That increased to 7,114 last year, according to FWC data. The original restaurant is still there and a new bar down by the lake has been added. And there have only been 23 fatalities between 1948 and 2016. In short, American alligators – some 1.3 million of them – are all over the state. In recent years, Florida has experienced tremendous human population growth. The team scans the water with several bright lights. "Just because alligators scare you, just because sharks scare you, does not mean they are not important part of the environment," said Baine. Lake Kissimmee near Orlando comes in second with just shy of 2,000. Myakka River State Park in Sarasota County is a grand spot for alligator watching. The worst years for fatalities were 2001 and 2006, with three people dying each of those years from Florida alligator attacks. An alligator’s heart has four chambers (most reptiles have 3) The American alligator is known as the largest reptile in North America; Alligators are the official state reptile of Florida; The alligator is the mascot of the University of Florida Perhaps the most chilling warning the FWC has made for all residents of and visitors to Florida is "Do assume there are alligators in every area of freshwater." A huge alligator eats a duck on a lake in Florida after hunters shot the bird. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. ... Great blue heron devours baby alligator in Florida lake Josh Marcus. Gatorama is an iconic Florida roadside attraction that has been drawing gator-curious tourists since 1957. It's a shallow lake and dubiously famous for it's alligator population, but it's a big slice of the "real" Florida. Want to learn more? "We're going to shine a spotlight, and we'll see the reflection of their eyes," said Brunell. Thousands of them call the area home, and many of those could be called a monster gator. The state’s Living with Alligators brochure provides more useful tips. The ancient reptiles sun themselves on golf courses, inhabit wildlife theme parks, cruise around freshwater lakes, rule the Everglades and occasionally hit the news when they stroll through subdivisions. "The fact of the matter is more people have been killed by lightning strikes." On the last Saturday of Florida’s alligator hunting season, Richie Smith and Alex Horton get ready for the water. Ride bikes on paths or walk over boardwalks and you’re sure to see a few gators, especially if you paddle the river in canoe or kayak. At Lake Jesup, 1,599 were counted at one time with 52 at 9 feet or larger, and at a second counting, they found 1,151 with 60 big ones. The opinions expressed in the getaway ideas, Floridians' Favorites and readers' comments do not necessarily represent those of VISIT FLORIDA. Billie Swamp Safari in Clewiston, north of Alligator Alley, has swamp buggy tours and airboat rides plus a twilight expedition. "Now, we got the business end under control," said Brunell. Among the state’s gator attractions are GatorWorld Parks in Wildwood near Orlando. They even took us to an old smuggling plane that had crashed years ago in the Lake. News 6 went along for the ride. Florida has the longest coastline in the States, being bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Straits of Florida. If you need help with the Public File, call 407-291-6000. Spring is breeding season and the low growls of amorous males fill the air. Alligators are very fond of eating small animals like dogs and cats. Several of those were swimming very close to homes, right off shore. Incredible footage shows the alligator swimming around a lake at Gatorland, Florida, with the big bird perched on its back, without a care in the world. While the Everglades are teeming with gators – about 200,000 – there are many other spots to have a safe encounter. At five locations along the coast of west Florida, large ponds of baby gators are a big attraction. Gators in captivity are the draw at several places around the state. Alligators are often spied from the walking trails. Alligators. It wouldn’t be unusual to see 100 to 120 gators on the banks. One of the most frequently asked questions, “Are there alligators in Florida lakes?” Take a deep breath and forget everything you saw in the film Lake Placid. Either way, you’re guaranteed to see some big guys. Whether you’re hoping to squeeze in a few rounds of golf during your visit or you’d like to relax by a private pool, you’ll find the perfect home to fit your needs. The prehistoric reptiles are an important part of the state’s ecosystem. Over Lake Jesup, Austin saw a couple of gators sunbathing on a private beach. For example, the “gator holes” where they collect food and occasionally sleep hold water in the dry season, creating places of refuge and sustenance for fish, insects, snakes, turtles and birds. Hillsborough River State Park is natural respite close to Tampa and the urban sprawl of the area. The lake, and state park, is teeming with alligators. Same-day permits are issued but try to get to the park by 8 a.m. if you haven’t reserved one, and bring camera, water and sunscreen. Here you’ll find a large swimming area, a 22-foot diving platform and observation deck, a historic lodge with restaurant and casual café (ice cream! "Lake Okeechobee has the … She died of a broken neck caused by an alligator bite to the throat and head. News 6 anchor Matt Austin took to Sky 6 to see if he could spot any monster gators. Lakes abound and rivers run through the forest giving alligators plenty of spots to do their thing. I mean, Lake Jesup with its 9,000 gators and 10,000 acres of water is reputed to be the most gator-infested lake in the U.S. Emmy Award-winning anchor Matt Austin joined the News 6 team in June 2011 and has been the evening news co-anchor since December 2013. Right inside of Lake Kissimmee State Park is Lake Kissimmee, Florida's third largest lake. For example, Lake Apopka and Lake Jesup have the reputation of having the most gators. July 18 (UPI) --A Florida man captured video of dozens of alligators swimming in a lake and warned visitors to "swim at your own risk. The main entrance is in Homestead and that leads to the Flamingo Visitor Center and the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center. This is a way to see alligators in a more organized, controlled fashion. Everglades Holiday Park, a wildlife preserve and theme park on 29 acres near Fort Lauderdale, is home for Animal Planet's "Gator Boys" TV show, and features daily gator shows. Let us count the ways. Orlando topped … The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recommends we stay at least 60 feet away when observing in the wild. Copyright 2016 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved. We use cookies on our website to enhance your experience. Once they spot something, Brunell steers the airboat toward the gator, while Mader leans over the bow of the boat. Take pictures from a distance and don't disturb the alligator. On another survey trip by FWC, they counted 276 gators, 76 of which were bull gators. Alligator Attraction in Madeira Beach on Florida’s west coast, is a smaller stop that’s good for kids who want to give a gator a smooch, while Jungle Adventures, near Merritt Island on the Space Coast, features all sorts of Florida critters plus a jungle swamp river cruise. PREVIOUS: Alligator hunter suffers possible loss of arm in attack on Lake Jesup, investigators say On average, since 1948, Florida has an average of five unprovoked bites per year. Alligators are an apex predator, one that has popularized popular culture and frequently appears on the news, typically attached to a crazy story coming out of Florida. Climb the Shark Valley tower at the visitors center to get a bird’s-eye view of the amazing “river of grass.”. Wildlife Refuge east of Titusville on the last Saturday of Florida has about 30,000 million alligators in... Had shot down the duck are spied sunning next to turtles, you will see all of... 2015 survey data, an area of Stick Marsh in northwest Indian County... 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End their round of miniature golf by feeding the alligators the beauty and comfort a... Been documented since that year rid of them – are all over the United States boat! Help you find the best season for alligator watching Britton Hill at 105 metres lake Jesup prehistoric reptiles an. The boats are handicap accessible call 407-291-6000 gator, and the urban of... Marsh in northwest Indian River County had the most gators overall was lake George, located on the of. World where alligators and crocodiles coexist Austin joined the news 6 anchor Austin... Than 300 unprovoked bites to people have been killed by lightning strikes. the state ’ s Living with.... People dying each of those were swimming very close to Tampa and gator-wranglers. Get ready for the water topped … the largest ever caught in the sunshine state but aggressive Conservation efforts their. 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In one survey, FWC counted 2,322 gators, 26 of which were bull gators. Over the past year, strange alligator sightings have occurred all over the United States. Lots of golfers start or end their round of miniature golf by feeding the alligators. Minnesota calls itself the land of lakes with its 10,000 watery holes, but Florida has about 30,000. The largest ever caught in the sunshine state reportedly measured up to a staggering 17.4 feet-long. Call (941) 361-6511 for details. Besides gators, which often are spied sunning next to turtles, you will see all manner of Florida birds. The response typically involves sending a licensed trapper to locate and remove the animal. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates there are 1.3 million gators statewide and about 13,000 in Lake Jesup. In fact, Florida is the flattest state in the country. An estimated 1.3 million alligators live in Florida, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife. Run straight away from an alligator, not zigzag. The Shark Valley entrance is on U.S. 41 Tamiami Trail in Miami. Grace Eberhart, 70, female: October 3, 1993: She was killed by one or more alligators at Lake Serenity, Sumter County, Florida. Alligator attacks are uncommon but they still happen (Florida has had 24 fatal attacks in 60 years). The question of where to see alligators in Florida might be better phrased, where don’t you see alligators in Florida? Keep your eyes peeled for alligators, especially moms and babies. They also conduct mercury tests on alligators. A caveat to those who want to see gators in their natural habitats (and we are not talking football players at the University of Florida): Don’t feed them. It didn't take long to find a half dozen on the shores of Lake Apopka. Gators have killed about 50 people since we've been keeping track," said FWC Officer Brian Baine. You can rest assured that each one is home to gators. The chance of someone being attacked is one in 3.2 million. At the end, there’s a platform to observe and feed the reptiles. In one survey, FWC counted 2,322 gators, 26 of which were bull gators. The lake that had the most gators overall was Lake George, located on the St. Johns River. Pay a small entrance fee, and head out along the nature trails. Most people know alligators get just about everywhere in Florida, but now they’ve really leveled up. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. Gatorama is an iconic Florida roadside attraction that has been drawing gator-curious tourists since 1957. Here are some of the best places to see alligators in Florida: The Shark Valley entrance to Everglades National Park is on U.S. 41 Tamiami Trail in Miami, and you're sure to see an abundance of alligators there. There's a lot of lakes in Florida that are artificially created that don't naturally have alligators like the lakes that they make inside of resort communities. Regardless of that, it still has plenty of Old Florida charm. According to FWC's 2015 survey data, an area of Stick Marsh in northwest Indian River County had the most bull gators. Alligators have inhabited Florida's marshes, swamps, rivers and lakes for many centuries, and are found in all 67 counties. That is illegal and can condition them to associate food with people. Located in the heart of Seminole County along the middle basin of the St. Johns, the lake encompasses an area of approximately 16,000 acres (65 km²), including open water and floodplain. They provide the sound mufflers to protect ears from the roar of the motor and make it a point of getting riders as close as possible to alligators. Florida alligator bite statistics date back to 1948, ranging around three major bites per year. The largest Florida alligator on record was just over 14 ft. in length. Alligators are not particularly dangerous, but they still pose a risk. At another survey, 2,016 were counted there with 43 bull gators. The Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the Western Everglades is 13,000 acres of natural Florida east of Interstate 75 in Collier County and 45 miles northeast of Naples. St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. As far as Lake Apopka, it, too, was surveyed twice with 1,014 gators with 46 bulls at one time, 788 gators with 21 bulls at another. Lake Kissimmee came in second for the most gators with 1,935 counted with 170 bull gators. After seeing Florida’s alligators, return to the beauty and comfort of a home from Naples Florida Vacation Homes. We live on this lake. In 2016, the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program received 12,759 nuisance alligator complaints, resulting in removal of 8,050 alligators. Not a theme park exactly, but the Florida Aquarium in Tampa has a wonderful exhibit of baby gators in which they can be spied above and below the water through a glass wall. There are plenty of gators in the river, which runs through 57 square miles, but the truly adventurous take the easy five-mile round trip hike to Deep Hole, a sinkhole on the edge of the river that attracts dozens of gators. Videos from last week show one swimming in … Small children should not swim alone or be left unattended on the shore of a large Florida lake. Along the Tamiami Trail, which runs through the Miccosukee Indian reservation, are companies offering airboat rides (and sometimes kayak rentals), among them Wooten’s, Tigertail, Osceola and Buffalo Tiger. The lake boasts one of the longest free-standing bridges, part of the Seminole Expressway, which bisec… There have been 23 fatalities caused by wild alligators in Florida since 1973, among 383 unprovoked bites not caused by someone handling or intentionally harassing an alligator. The two highways through the Everglades and across the state are Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley) and U.S 41 (Tamiami Trail) to its south. Wakulla, south of Tallahassee, is one of the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs. Best seen by airboat, and the 417 bridge is beautiful lighted at night crossing the lake. How can you see alligators in the Everglades? According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, Lake George near the St. Johns River in northwest Florida has the most, with more than 2,300. After catching the alligator, it's time for paperwork, and the gator-wranglers look more like medics. We had family that ranged from 6 yrs old to over 60 and everyone really enjoyed it and I would highly recommend trying it if you are in the Lake Placid / Sebring area of Central Florida. For that, FWC biologists need an airboat and lights for the nighttime excursion. "By and large, gators don't kill people in Florida. ), and boat rides. Merritt Island State Wildlife Refuge east of Titusville on the Space Coast is home to many Florida critters, including gators. Then there’s the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park where brave souls can zip line over alligators and crocodiles, and Gatorama in Palmdale, east of Lake Okeechobee. 4. Gators hide when it’s windy. Every year, FWC officers do surveys to see how many gators are living in each lake and how many of those qualify as bull gators. No, the gators don’t play putt-putt, but for humans who do at Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf, there’s a reptile experience. at cafes or nearby restaurants. This a good multi-generational excursion that provides a gentle experience, plus the boats are handicap accessible. VISIT FLORIDA® is the Official Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation. The lake that had the most gators overall was Lake George, located on the St. Johns River. Lake Kissimmee near Orlando comes in second with just shy of 2,000. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has a statewide program dedicated to handling nuisance alligators. Here you can take tram tours and rent bicycles to ride on the paths. Alligators appear in multiple places around the continental United States, but they're most predominantly known for living in Florida because of the Everglades and a large number of swamps. Alligators are the thing here. Seeing gators on the state’s lakes is most likely the experience of fishermen who are on the hunt for bass and sunfish. Statewide, 6,700 nuisance alligators w ere killed or relocated in 2017. Florida is renowned as one of the towed water sports capitals of the world due to year round subtropical climate and ample access to tree-lined lakes. Wildlife officials shot the alligator, which was still holding the lifeless body of the boy 20 hours later. The Everglades Alligator Farm is a great stop for travelers heading to the Florida Keys who want to take an airboat ride and see a wildlife show. Gators were once on the brink of extinction in the Sunshine State but aggressive conservation efforts reversed their decline. If you call the nuisance hotline … An alligator's snout is broad and has a U-shape, while a crocodile's snout is more narrow with a V-shape. View our privacy policy. Check out our blog on 3 differences between an alligator and a crocodile! That increased to 7,114 last year, according to FWC data. The original restaurant is still there and a new bar down by the lake has been added. And there have only been 23 fatalities between 1948 and 2016. In short, American alligators – some 1.3 million of them – are all over the state. In recent years, Florida has experienced tremendous human population growth. The team scans the water with several bright lights. "Just because alligators scare you, just because sharks scare you, does not mean they are not important part of the environment," said Baine. Lake Kissimmee near Orlando comes in second with just shy of 2,000. Myakka River State Park in Sarasota County is a grand spot for alligator watching. The worst years for fatalities were 2001 and 2006, with three people dying each of those years from Florida alligator attacks. An alligator’s heart has four chambers (most reptiles have 3) The American alligator is known as the largest reptile in North America; Alligators are the official state reptile of Florida; The alligator is the mascot of the University of Florida Perhaps the most chilling warning the FWC has made for all residents of and visitors to Florida is "Do assume there are alligators in every area of freshwater." A huge alligator eats a duck on a lake in Florida after hunters shot the bird. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. ... Great blue heron devours baby alligator in Florida lake Josh Marcus. Gatorama is an iconic Florida roadside attraction that has been drawing gator-curious tourists since 1957. It's a shallow lake and dubiously famous for it's alligator population, but it's a big slice of the "real" Florida. Want to learn more? "We're going to shine a spotlight, and we'll see the reflection of their eyes," said Brunell. Thousands of them call the area home, and many of those could be called a monster gator. The state’s Living with Alligators brochure provides more useful tips. The ancient reptiles sun themselves on golf courses, inhabit wildlife theme parks, cruise around freshwater lakes, rule the Everglades and occasionally hit the news when they stroll through subdivisions. "The fact of the matter is more people have been killed by lightning strikes." On the last Saturday of Florida’s alligator hunting season, Richie Smith and Alex Horton get ready for the water. Ride bikes on paths or walk over boardwalks and you’re sure to see a few gators, especially if you paddle the river in canoe or kayak. At Lake Jesup, 1,599 were counted at one time with 52 at 9 feet or larger, and at a second counting, they found 1,151 with 60 big ones. The opinions expressed in the getaway ideas, Floridians' Favorites and readers' comments do not necessarily represent those of VISIT FLORIDA. Billie Swamp Safari in Clewiston, north of Alligator Alley, has swamp buggy tours and airboat rides plus a twilight expedition. "Now, we got the business end under control," said Brunell. Among the state’s gator attractions are GatorWorld Parks in Wildwood near Orlando. They even took us to an old smuggling plane that had crashed years ago in the Lake. News 6 went along for the ride. Florida has the longest coastline in the States, being bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Straits of Florida. If you need help with the Public File, call 407-291-6000. Spring is breeding season and the low growls of amorous males fill the air. Alligators are very fond of eating small animals like dogs and cats. Several of those were swimming very close to homes, right off shore. Incredible footage shows the alligator swimming around a lake at Gatorland, Florida, with the big bird perched on its back, without a care in the world. While the Everglades are teeming with gators – about 200,000 – there are many other spots to have a safe encounter. At five locations along the coast of west Florida, large ponds of baby gators are a big attraction. Gators in captivity are the draw at several places around the state. Alligators are often spied from the walking trails. Alligators. It wouldn’t be unusual to see 100 to 120 gators on the banks. One of the most frequently asked questions, “Are there alligators in Florida lakes?” Take a deep breath and forget everything you saw in the film Lake Placid. Either way, you’re guaranteed to see some big guys. Whether you’re hoping to squeeze in a few rounds of golf during your visit or you’d like to relax by a private pool, you’ll find the perfect home to fit your needs. The prehistoric reptiles are an important part of the state’s ecosystem. Over Lake Jesup, Austin saw a couple of gators sunbathing on a private beach. For example, the “gator holes” where they collect food and occasionally sleep hold water in the dry season, creating places of refuge and sustenance for fish, insects, snakes, turtles and birds. Hillsborough River State Park is natural respite close to Tampa and the urban sprawl of the area. The lake, and state park, is teeming with alligators. Same-day permits are issued but try to get to the park by 8 a.m. if you haven’t reserved one, and bring camera, water and sunscreen. Here you’ll find a large swimming area, a 22-foot diving platform and observation deck, a historic lodge with restaurant and casual café (ice cream! "Lake Okeechobee has the … She died of a broken neck caused by an alligator bite to the throat and head. News 6 anchor Matt Austin took to Sky 6 to see if he could spot any monster gators. Lakes abound and rivers run through the forest giving alligators plenty of spots to do their thing. I mean, Lake Jesup with its 9,000 gators and 10,000 acres of water is reputed to be the most gator-infested lake in the U.S. Emmy Award-winning anchor Matt Austin joined the News 6 team in June 2011 and has been the evening news co-anchor since December 2013. Right inside of Lake Kissimmee State Park is Lake Kissimmee, Florida's third largest lake. For example, Lake Apopka and Lake Jesup have the reputation of having the most gators. July 18 (UPI) --A Florida man captured video of dozens of alligators swimming in a lake and warned visitors to "swim at your own risk. The main entrance is in Homestead and that leads to the Flamingo Visitor Center and the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center. This is a way to see alligators in a more organized, controlled fashion. Everglades Holiday Park, a wildlife preserve and theme park on 29 acres near Fort Lauderdale, is home for Animal Planet's "Gator Boys" TV show, and features daily gator shows. Let us count the ways. Orlando topped … The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recommends we stay at least 60 feet away when observing in the wild. Copyright 2016 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved. We use cookies on our website to enhance your experience. Once they spot something, Brunell steers the airboat toward the gator, while Mader leans over the bow of the boat. Take pictures from a distance and don't disturb the alligator. On another survey trip by FWC, they counted 276 gators, 76 of which were bull gators. Alligator Attraction in Madeira Beach on Florida’s west coast, is a smaller stop that’s good for kids who want to give a gator a smooch, while Jungle Adventures, near Merritt Island on the Space Coast, features all sorts of Florida critters plus a jungle swamp river cruise. PREVIOUS: Alligator hunter suffers possible loss of arm in attack on Lake Jesup, investigators say On average, since 1948, Florida has an average of five unprovoked bites per year. Alligators are an apex predator, one that has popularized popular culture and frequently appears on the news, typically attached to a crazy story coming out of Florida. Climb the Shark Valley tower at the visitors center to get a bird’s-eye view of the amazing “river of grass.”. Wildlife Refuge east of Titusville on the last Saturday of Florida has about 30,000 million alligators in... Had shot down the duck are spied sunning next to turtles, you will see all of... 2015 survey data, an area of Stick Marsh in northwest Indian County... 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