American Alligator

Photo by Cheryl Schirtzinger

The animal all visitors hope to see is the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).  Alligators once faced extinction due to hunting and loss of habitat, but have made a dramatic recovery due to aggressive conservation measures. Our refuges provide a safe haven for these magnificent animals to flourish in their natural setting, and places for visitors to observe and appreciate these giant reptiles.

To learn more about these fascinating animals, click on Fact Sheet button below.

CAUTION: Alligators are wild predators that are capable of attacking and killing humans. They may appear to be slow moving but can run very fast for short distances. Do not approach an alligator or attempt to touch or capture one, as feeding or harassing alligators is a violation of federal law, as well as being dangerous! Enjoy them from a safe distance or from the safety of your vehicle.

Male alligators bellow in the spring during mating season. Hearing this on the refuge is unforgettable! Click to listen.

Photo by Sharon Lindsay

Baby alligators frequently stay in small groups called pods after hatching. The little ones are protected by striped camouflage and by their mothers for up to two years. They make characteristic grunting noises when disturbed to notify mom.

If you see baby alligators on the refuge, be careful and don't approach! It's almost certain that the mother is around and will aggressively protect her young. Listen to the baby's call...