Alligators have been known to attack humans, but generally fear us. Although they rarely kill campers directly, their bite often causes serious infections and major blood loss. The alligator’s tail is a powerful weapon capable of knocking a person down or overturning a canoe.

Avoid an Attack

Consider the following:
  • Do not swim or wade where alligators live – this is anywhere in Florida,
  • Always check the water and shoreline before paddling or setting camp,
  • Do not dangle arms and legs from boats,
  • Do not throw unused bait or fish from the boat or camp,
  • Do not harass, touch, or capture any alligator – seems obvious I would think!
  • Leave alligator babies and eggs alone – all adult alligators will respond to a distress call from any youngster,
  • Be aware that many have been previously fed by people – alligator’s natural fear of humans is reduced and this makes them very very dangerous,
  • Don’t use fish-scented soap.

If Attacked

Consider the following:
  • Run – really really fast,
  • If you are on land – get on the alligator‘s back and put downward pressure on its neck. This will force its head and jaws down,
  • Cover the alligator’s eyes – this should make it less aggressive,
  • Punch, kick and hit with anything you have – aiming for the eyes and nose,
  • If its jaws are clamped down on something you want back, such as a friend’s limb, hit the snout with anything and everything you have – the gator may let go,
  • When you are in an alligator’s jaws – fight hard from being pulled into the water. The gator will drag you into deeper water where they go into a “death roll’ in an attempt to drown their prey – that’s you.


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