Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gator Season

The New York Times reports on a local phenomenon: horny alligators.

It is prowling season for alligators, who have been lulled out of their winter torpor by warm weather and lust — it’s mating season. Besides love, they are looking for food and watering holes. This being Florida, built on swampland carved with canals flowing every which way, alligators, now numbering more than one million, have a way of turning up in some pretty unlikely places.

They luxuriate in swimming pools. They wander down suburban streets. They move into neighborhood lakes. They stand on roadways and refuse to move. They sunbathe on lanais.

And, on occasion, they just want a little privacy.


Most gators just want to chill and cannot be bothered to bite humans. Last year, there were only five reported bites; in 2009, the number was 19.

But cats and dogs are another matter. Early one recent morning, Robert Geraci Sr., 70, who lives in Palmetto Bay, was perusing the N.B.A. playoff scores on his computer when he heard some splashing in the canal that abuts his home. He peered out and saw an eight-footer with something in its mouth. He thought it was a turtle; it was a cat.

I live on one of those canals. I haven’t seen or heard any gators, but I did see a peacock tail feather in the front yard yesterday….