I am going to Louisiana and I am wondering how dangerous alligators really are. I plan on going scuba diving in the swamps there looking for frogs and lizards for my aquarium. Everyone says its a bad idea and that the alligators can kill me, but I dont think they would attack a person and anyways they just sit there looking out of the water. Also how fast can they run and swim. Thanks for help
Did you come from Alabama? And what’s that on your knee?
If you have to ask, it’s a bad idea.
If you go ahead with it, can I have your stereo?
Why do you think an alligator wouldn’t attack a person?
You might want to check out Swamp People on the History channel. One episode oughta do it.
Most of the attacks seem to be in Florida instead of Louisiana, but you could Google the statistics up as well as anyone.
When I was five years old, my father took me to a little pond in the Everglades while we were on a camping trip. It was nice and peaceful, with nary a ripple on the water. As we watched a young doe came out of the woods, looked around warily, and bent down to take a drink.
We never saw the alligator that leap out of the water, and dragged her down to her death.
I have a *very *healthy respect for alligators. You have no idea how fast those fuckers can be in the water.
Doesn’t happen every day, but it does happen.
I grew up on the Gulf Coast, and on the off chance that this isn’t a joke, alligators do indeed attack people. They can swim very quickly, and they can run about as fast as a dog. Since they’re cold-blooded they can’t keep it up for long distances, but I have heard of people who lost a limb because they thought it would be fun to bother the gators and assumed they could outrun one. But your odds of escaping an alligator are much better on land than in the water. There’s no way in hell I’d go scuba diving around alligators.
It’s time for another good idea, bad idea.
Good idea! Reaching in an aquarium to feed the frogs and lizards.
Bad idea! Scuba diving in a swamp to feed the alligators and crocodiles.
I am not going to say it is 100% safe (what is?) but I am from Louisiana and I have swam in alligator infested waters hundreds of times without incident. Almost everyone there does. Swimming in murky water, fishing in waders, water skiing, and even scuba diving are popular activities. If people were that scared of alligators, water sports would come to a halt. I never swam right up to an alligator however and suggest you don’t either. The closest I ever swam to one was about 50 feet and I kept a close eye on him. Louisiana alligators do seem to be a whole lot more ‘chill’ than their Florida counterparts and I have never known of anyone that got attacked but I do know a few that successfully kept them as pets even when they were full-sized.
Alligators are only one of your worries in Louisiana waters though. It is playground for many dangerous animals. Water moccasins (Cottonmouth snakes) were the ones that always scared me the most. They are quite poisonous and some bodies of water contain an unbelievable number of them. They are also the only aggressive poisonous snake in the U.S. and they will chase you rather than flee like other snakes even in the water (they can swim quite well). There are also huge alligator gar (giant prehistoric fish with a snout and teeth). If you manage to stay away from those, don’t go near a nutria (giant, nasty rodents and an invasive species). They can kill a full-grown dog and they don’t like people either.
I don’t mean to say any of this to scare you. The risks are there but most people just use common sense and do whatever they want in the water including swim or scuba dive.
I took a swamp boat tour in the everglades once. The alligators were on every side of us; some almost as big as the boat. I wouldn’t go near a live alligator for anything you could pay me. Not for anything.
Anyway, there’s one veterinarian in the Taiwan zoo who would advise against this:
Warning, really horrid picture of a alligator and the hand/arm he’s eating:
Gators are ambush predators. They prefer to lay in wait, which they can do for a long time, or else, slowly, silently and invisibly sneaking up on their unaware prey. If you can see a gator, chances are it’s not going to mess with you and it’s just sunning itself or is not hungry. But, it’s the gators that you don’t see that you have to worry about, and therein lies the rub!
They don’t tend to intentionally prey on humans, but if they confuse you for something else, or they’re sick/hungry/desperate, they might. Also, with the kind of activity you’re going to be doing, you’ll be looking to catch some of the same things they’re looking to catch, and that might put you in the same places as them when your attention to your surroundings is low, and they’re looking to feed. Since they’re so opportunistic, this sounds like a bad idea, specially given that you don’t have experience in the area.
I’m used to Everglades gators, and I frequently kayak around them inches above the water with no problem, but I wouldn’t intentionally get in the water with them or hang around the shores poking around. No experience with LA gators, though.
Moved Cafe Society --> IMHO.
I don’t know what to tell you on this one. It depends on how brave you are and how risk adverse you are. Like I said, I grew up there and everyone in the rural parts of the state spends lots of time on or in the murky water. It can certainly kill you but it probably won’t be an alligator that does it. Alligator attacks don’t really happen in Louisiana. Florida is a whole lot more populated with people and that seems to bring out the worst those beautiful creatures and, even then, it is still really rare. American alligators are generally the stoners of the crocodilian family unlike some of the others around the world. They are usually just happy to hang out and chill near you. The waters have so much other wildlife to prey on that that they are always full and content. They don’t generally pose a threat to people there at all.
You are much more likely to get yourself killed by Scuba diving in murky water than you are are being attacked an alligator. I would would do it in a second and I don’t even know much about Scuba diving. I have done free diving in zero visibility water to catch lots of things before and never gave it a second thought. Watch out for those water moccasins though. I hate them with a passion and have spent many a day shooting as many as I could in infested waters and there is no end to it. There are also snapping turtles and prehistoric fish so big you would think you got transported back to the Triassic period. It is awesome.
On second thought thought, definitely do it but be safe especially when it comes to snags and your gear because drowning through your own stupidity is by far the biggest risk. It is a really cool experience that you can’t get anywhere in the U.S.
If you want frogs, you need to go out at night and you could take a small boat. You spotlight them using a piece of red cellophane over the lens. They won’t see you and you can just grab them. You can grab lizards on land from just about any woodpile or the sides of a wooden building.
do you taste like chicken?
Scuba divin with alligators? I would think that ranks up there with playing hide and seek with a tiger or playing water frisbee around sharks…things not compatible with a long lifespan
Naw, it sounds great. I got homesick just by reading this thread, I wish I could do tonight. There are things found in the swamps of Louisiana that you can’t experience anywhere else in the world and this type of thing is one of them. I think I am going to book a trip and do it myself soon.
Scuba diving in a swamp? You ain’t from around here, are you?
I suggest you make sure your life insurance premium is paid in full and you update your will before making the trip. On the up side, you have a great shot at a Darwin Award if you actually try it.
thanks everyone but i am going to go diving for frogs. I think it will be great fun and I have a potion. This old indian man that drinks at the bar made a potion for me to go swimming with he said it will ward off everything in the swamp. i will pour it around the water before i go in. My girlfriend is very scared about these alligators but I am telling her they are nothing. they just sit there looking out the water and im just llooking for frogs. thanks for all everyones help