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Alligator

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The only species of Alligatoridae native to the United States is the American Alligator. Although they are not on the endangered list, alligators are protected in the states where they are found.

Out of the 254 counties in Texas, 120 counties have had reports of Alligators. The City of Arlington is no exception and though rare, alligators have been reported in creeks and lakes. Photos included in the images above show Animal Services staff in attendance at an alligator safety training class.

While captive, alligators can reach ages of 50-60 years old; in the wild they regularly reach 35-40 years of age. Mating for alligators occurs during late spring and early summer, with the female alligators laying eggs mid-June to July. The incubation of the 15-60 eggs lasts 65-70 days, which means usual hatching is in late August to early September.  When hatched, these baby alligators are only 8-9 inches in length. By the age of twenty, females can reach 6 – 8 feet but males can be far bigger, ranging from 8 -11 feet.

Normal alligator reaction to humans is to shy away but if they are being fed, they will soon associate people with food, which then creates dangerous situations. Although no human fatality has been recorded in Texas, and human-alligator conflicts are rare, citizens are cautioned to never approach an alligator. If an alligator is spotted, Arlington Animal Services may be contacted, but seeing an alligator does not necessarily make it a threat or nuisance. Alligators are very important to the ecology of Texas wetlands and costal region.

Reference source:  Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

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