Spring weather brings on alligator mating season

Spring weather brings on alligator mating season

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Tuesday didn’t feel like Spring, but animals know the season is here. Many are now on the move, especially alligators, and there’s a big reason why.

Ed Vance took video of an alligator slowly making its way to the 17th hole at the Savannah Harbor Club on Hutchinson Island. Right now, alligators are looking for love.

When we think about seeing alligators, we usually think about seeing them in areas where there is a lot of water and brush they can hide in. Lately, we’ve been seeing them in unusual places like a golf course. People say it’s because this is their breeding season.

“It’s all driven by water temperatures. In general, it starts in the middle of March and it lasts about a month-and-a-half,” said Russ Webb, Savannah National Wildlife Refuge Manager.

Russ Webb says warmer weather and warmer water get the gators stirring.

“Around here, we really didn’t have a harsh winter, so even in December and January, on warm days, they would come out, but now they are pretty much out for good,” he said.

He says the alligators are cold-blooded, so they warm up by laying in the sun, breeding in the spring, and having babies in the summer.

“They incubate for about 60 days, and they will hatch at the end of summer. They actually stay with the parent for about a year,” Webb said.

He says some mother alligators can be protective over their young, but for the most part, alligators do not seem to be aggressive.

“I’ve worked at the refuge for 29 years, and we have never really encountered an aggressive alligator,” Webb said. “We have had to move a couple, but that’s only because people feed them, It’s against the law and we naturally discourage that.”

The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge says if you do see an alligator, the best thing to do is leave it alone. Click here for more information.

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