JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Alligators are becoming more visible around the state as they enter the more active time of year.
In the coming months they will begin venturing out of their familiar territory, which could increase your chance of encountering one.
We found alligators aplenty using Skytracker 3 at the Ross Barnett Reservoir. This month the gators aren’t very active or feeding much.
The warmer weather does encourage them to get out of the water to increase their body temperatures. Gators can’t digest food until they have a core body temperature of 70 degrees.
Starting in May, they will begin moving into unfamiliar territory, as breeding season begins.
Dominant, territorial males scaring the younger gators into areas where there are more people.
Ricky Flynt Alligator Program Coordinator with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks said, “Territorial males, they are cannibalistic and they will fight to the death for the right to breed with females. So those young juvenile alligators will disperse to new locations that end up with them crossing over roads, they get in parking lots, swimming pools...”
Wildlife officials say they often respond to remove what can be called “nuisance gators.” They respond to between 200-300 call a year from citizens concerned about gators who wander into neighborhoods.
They can relocate any under six feet long. Any bigger are too dangerous to move, and euthanized.