OK, so last year I visited a friend in Florida and told her I HAD to see a wild alligator. She duly took me to several pools in the locale and I saw my wild 'gators, albeit quite dinky ones.
I’m aware of the laws regarding interfering with these creatures, but they shot off like lightning anyway when I aimed my camera at them. I obviously have that stupid curiosity that most Brits have when it comes to “dangerous” animals, namely because there is only the common adder here, and you’d be lucky to ever see one, let alone be in any danger from it.
So, whilst I’m strolling near the edges of this lake/pool, hoping to see a big reptile, my friend is giving me earache, telling me to beware (there were signs about telling of presence of alligators), she was definitely not happy with my curiosity, even though she’s lived there all her life. As far as she was concerned, there was a real danger of me being snaffled by an alligator if I didn’t watch my step.
Now if I were in Australia, or Africa, I’d be very wary of any bodies of water that may harbour crocodiles. If they were known to be in the area, I’d not risk having one launch out and grab me, simple as that. No curiosity, no reckless bravery, I know you don’t mess about where there are crocs.
So why do I think the alligator is not worth worrying about? Do they attack people, like crocs? Is it a more docile temperament that means they don’t attack people, or do they simply not get big enough like Salties? What are the chances of being seriously attacked by an alligator (not if I approach a nest, but just from one seeing me and thinking “Yum yum”)?
My friend sent a pic of a nice 7’ ‘gator strolling down her street the other day after some bad weather they’ve had out there. I have to say, it didn’t look that impressive. A 7’ croc though…I’d be moving house.