Thursday, March 29, 2018

TWRA: Tennesseans 'Must Learn' To Live With Alligators

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 11:53 AM

click to enlarge Grainy, shaky footage shows a seven-foot alligator that state officials said was spotted on the Wolf River in Fayette County. - TENNESSEE WILDLIFE RESOURCES AGENCY
  • Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
  • Grainy, shaky footage shows a seven-foot alligator that state officials said was spotted on the Wolf River in Fayette County.

Alligators in local rivers stepped out of urban myth and into reality this week with a video (see below) that showed a seven-footer in a Fayette-County section of the Wolf River.

The short, grainy video easily steps beyond hoax territory, too. It was shot and posted on Facebook by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).

The alligator probably didn’t get lost and just meander up this way, like ”Manny” the manatee that accidentally swam 720 miles from its natural habitat to Memphis a decade ago. 
click to enlarge manatpresley.jpg

TWRA officials said “this latest sighting is one of several confirmed sightings of alligators in Southwest Tennessee.”

“Alligators are naturally expanding their range into Tennessee from the southern border states,” TWRA said in a FAcebook post last week. “TWRA has not stocked any alligators in Tennessee. Alligators expanding into Tennessee is just another species that we must learn to coexist with like many of the other Southern states.”

Some reacted to the Facebook post with surprise and no surprise whatsoever. Some suggested an alligator hunting season. Facebooker Bill Warren, told his friends, “Duck season is about to get more dangerous.”
TWRA said alligators feed on fish, turtles, snakes, frogs, and waterfowl and will, occasionally, eat larger animals like opossums, raccoon, and deer.

As for surviving Tennessee’s winters, TWRA said alligators can slip into a “hibernation-like dormancy” called brumation. Adding a bit of nightmare fuel, TWRA said alligators can even survive in the ice “by sticking their snout out of the water before it freezes which allows them to continue breathing.”

If you see one, don’t poke it, TWRA suggested.

“TWRA would like to remind everyone that alligators are a protected species and catching or shooting one is a violation of the law,” the agency said. “If you come across one while exploring the outdoors in West Tennessee, leave it alone and enjoy Tennessee’s unique biodiversity.”

See it here:

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