Katrina Displaced Alligators Too - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Katrina Displaced Alligators Too

"They're starting to show up all over," Pascagoula Animal Control Supervisor Ed Holmes says. "This one was being a nuisance out on Louise Street."

Holmes says this year's going to be a busy one for him and his gator trapping buddy Richard. Normally the two catch around 12 gators a year from populated areas in Jackson County. Post-Katrina, they're anticipating a lot more.

"They were displaced," Holmes says. "Some gators came from the islands. Some of our alligators went up north, when the water went out, some of those came back here."

Holmes says gators are now on the prowl for new homes.

"They're looking for homes. If you live on the water or go to the water a lot, you're going to see them."

But be careful. Being homeless isn't the only thing that has this reptiles on edge.

"Their breeding season is just about over with, so they are looking for nesting areas. If you get too close to where they have found a place, they're going to chase you. They're going to scare you. Possibly injure you."

"If you do see one, the best thing to do is just stay away from it. Do not feed. That is the worst thing to do is feed an alligator. We have to be more cautious about the gators than normal."

Holmes says no one has ever died from an alligator attack in Jackson County, and he doesn't want this year to make history. So he doesn't mind getting in harm's way to make sure people are safe and the reptiles have a place to call home.

Holmes says there are an estimated seven to nine alligators per square mile in Jackson County. Although humans are not in the gator diet, Holmes says they may attack if they feel threatened.

By Jaimee Goad

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