PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - As the temperatures heat up in South Mississippi, you may start seeing more and more reptiles. One Pass Christian resident spotted an alligator near her kayak launch in the Timber Ridge Subdivision on Easter Sunday.
Wildlife officials told us the reptiles will be more visible for the next several weeks. Ashton Azzopardi said her husband was recording video of the gator in the canal next to her backyard Easter Sunday. It's the first one they've seen since living here for the past year. She estimated it was at least 6 feet long.
"So, we were getting ready to go to my grandma's for Easter lunch, and my husband and my daughters were outside, and they saw an alligator and started yelling," said Azzopardi.
"Yes, that alligator's bigger than you and Taylor," Azzopardi said about the gator.
Just off her dock, she and her family watched the gator swimming.
"Which was really cool. It was a fun little Easter morning. But about six hours later when we came home he had decided to come up onto land right next to our dock, and that was his little hangout spot for the day. So, we kind of couldn't get rid of him," said Azzopardi.
According to Alligator Program Coordinator Ricky Flynt for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks, gators especially will be more visible in the next few weeks.
"Alligators go dormant during the winter months, and they become more active and start coming out of their dormant holes in the Spring time which occurs March and April. We will get a lot of calls about people seeing alligators in places they haven't seen them before because they were hidden from all the vegetation, but now this time of year that vegetation is dead," said Flynt.
Azzopardi said a bank behind her home is where she and her daughters used to launch their kayaks, but after Sunday she said she'll do something else.
"Because that's where the alligator was. So, I'm just going to start jumping off the pier into my kayak. I have three daughters. They love to fish. So, they're always sitting on the dock fishing, and so before Sunday they would dangle their feet in the water, and before Sunday they know to watch for snakes, and now they know to watch for alligators too," she said.
Flynt said if you spot a gator that has lost its fear of humans and is approaching people, pets, or livestock you can call the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks at 601-783-2926 to have an officer investigate the situation.