Monday, May 15, 2006

Please Don't Feed the Alligators

Florida marks third deadly alligator attack in less than a week
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/orl-bk-alligator051406,0,1048850.story?page=2&coll=sfla-home-headlines

2 More Fatal Fla. Gator Attacks Reported
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/ALLIGATOR_ATTACKS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2006-05-15-06-49-22



You see, when you do feed the gators, they become less wary of humans.

They also start to associate humans with food.

The concept of Human = Food

vs.

Human = Creature who BRINGS Food

may seem clearer to us than to these reptiles.

If they get used to thinking, *Food,* when they encounter a stray human, and they come across a human who doesn't give them food, it's a smaller step now to see that empty handed human as food.

You may have already heard all about our recent extraordinary alligator fatalities. Three of them, within a few days of each other. Certainly two, and probably the third, were direct, unprovoked alligator attacks.

At least one of those gators was accustomed to getting fed by irresponsible idiots in the neighborhood. They admitted this to the police.

Unfortunately, the jogger that gator killed and ate was completely innocent of feeding gators.

She also wasn't a fool like this guy, http://ksquest.blogspot.com/2006/05/another-gator-bite-but-this-one-asked.html , a real estate mogul who likes to show off to visitors by (illegally) jumping on the alligators in his wildlife preserve. (That's NOT gator *wrestling,* BTW.) He got bit, and he absolutely deserved it. He survived. Even if he hadn't, he still would not have my condolences.

The jogger was minding her own business. She was attacked only a few miles west of me, by a gator who was conditioned to humans by other people. People who've heard, over and over and over again, why they should not feed wild alligators. They put their cheap amusement above the safety of innocent bypassers.

All three victims and their loved ones have my condolences. That includes the woman who may have contributed to her own demise by becoming inebriated out in the country in an alligator-infested area. She was a drug addict, trying to sober up, who fell off the wagon. She screwed up. Most of us have, at least once in our lives, done something like got drunk and foolish. But we didn't pay this price.

The first article is from our local newspaper, the Sun-Sentinel. It has much more information than the second one from the Associated Press.

The only thing left out was this: when they finally caught the gator that killed the jogger, the body parts found in its belly were her arms.

All this makes me so sad. Some people think, or fear, that deadly alligator attacks happen a lot. Actually, they almost never do.

This time, yes. Three times over.

Rest in peace.

6 comments:

VeggieMegan said...

What if you could train the alligators to be vegetarians? Even if it didn't work, all the alligators would start saying, "Oh crap! Hide! Here comes another human with brussels sprouts, spinach and collard greens. I think I'm going to puke if I eat any more asparagus!"

It's worth a try, and if we could infiltrate the alligator communes with herbivorous clones, it would be like inserting a virus into the matrix. We could make Florida inhabitable again. Well, you would have to do something with the old people. Do you think vegetarian alligators would like old people?

k said...

HA! Florida carnivorous alligators are VERY fond of old people. They may not be as tender, but they have the perfect seasoning: They don't run so fast.

I would guess that, by definition, a vegetarian alligator would only like old people if they were vegetables, nuts, or fruits. Since we do have a large population of old folks to draw from, there are probably plenty in those categories.

Interesting you should consider the benefits of vegetarian alligators. A neighbor of mine read this post,
http://ksquest.blogspot.com/2006/03/on-this-day-lizard-said-happy-birthday.html , and then this one, http://ksquest.blogspot.com/2006/03/happy-alligator-mating-season.html
and left a comment speculating on gators' weed consumption.

Anonymous said...

Could be that over enthusiastic environmentalist unnecessarily put alligators on the endangered species list some 30 years ago and now there are just more alligators than EVER before?

k said...

Well, certainly they DID go on that list, and it seems it was a success: we can now boast of a population of some 1,500,000 alligators.

Whether or not it was a Good Thing is subjective. You're far more likely to get hit by lightning than a gator. Economically, they do wonders for tourism and for our water and wildlife quality. The wildlife is a big plus in bringing in more tourism bucks, including bucks from hunters.

Besides, I never met a gator I didn't like. I can't say the same for humans.

VeggieMegan said...

More likely to be hit by lightning than by an alligator? Do they fall from the sky?

1.5 million? Maybe we should introduce them to the 11 million immigrants. It would be like that last battle scene in Lord of the Rings. You would need a De Mille or Kurosawa to direct it though. Peter Jackson just doesn't know how to do a good war movie. Peckinpah or Tarantino might work for this too if you want to go that route.

Sounds like you just need a script.

k said...

Have you ever seen a gator strike? How it lays just under the water, perfectly still, until it lunges out at top speed with its open mouth and SNAPS those jaws shut on its prey?

It hits. Dramatically so. Great eruptions of water, so forth.

Unfortunately, of the long list of k's Areas of Ignorance, movies are close to the top. Add to that that I like immigrants, too. I like gators and want to see them well-fed, of course; it's just that I prefer my *Gators Hit Humans* stories to end up with a live human and a gator vowing to change his ways. The standard chicken works for me.

Besides, I believe Chicago Darrell has dibs - plans for an upcoming Western saga at the east coast k ranch. I'll ride herd on the escargot on my trusty manatee. Our Ag. Commissioner, Charles Bronson, will advise Little Miss Attila on ordnance. I'm thinking perhaps some errant garden gnomes may need rescuing from the wilds of the Plumeria Forest but I haven't run that by Darrell yet.

This is all I know about any movies. Sorry.