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The American Alligator: Facts
The American alligator is the largest of all members of the crocodile order in North America, growing sometimes to over 14 feet, with the record being 19 feet 2 inches. General coloration is black but light markings of youth may persist into adulthood. Alligators can weigh over 500lbs. and live up to 50 years. The voice of an adult male is a throaty bellowing roar with great carrying power. The female grunts like a pig when calling to her young, which she actively protects from predators. Baby alligators make a high keyed umph-umph-umph with mouth closed. Alligators of all sizes hiss.
The American alligator came very close to extinction in the early 1900′s. Banning hunting has saved the alligator from extinction. They have since recovered and are now no longer a threatened species.
Alligators are spectacular to see, they are probably the closest living thing we have to a dinosaur. Gators in the swamp are wild, not pets and should not be teased or harassed. Never feed alligators, and always respect these impressive reptiles even in areas well used by people. Small children and pets warrant extra attention around gators. Swimming is not allowed but a fear of gators should not prevent you from the enjoyment of paddling or motoring the water ways of the swamp. Alligators just want to be able to exist, and not have run-ins with people. Just like any excursion into a wild place, common sense, preparation, and alertness make the experience enjoyable and without problem.
The chances of seeing alligators changes every season, and the temperature, rainfall and certain periodic conditions affect probability of sightings.
Overall, Fall can be a great time to view alligators at The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
Fall Sighting Probability : High