We all love South Carolina — the sun, the sand, and of course… gators! However, as much as we want to enjoy them from afar, it’s important for visitors of Hilton Head to be aware of the risks posed by alligators in our neck of the woods. Read on to find safety tips provided by your friends at Beachside Hilton Head Island.
Understanding the Behaviors of Gators
Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn. This means they are likely to move during the night, so it’s important to stay vigilant and watch your step if you’re walking around during these hours.
Gators may also be more active after heavy rains when they search for higher ground and can come across paths, yards, or even homes. Gators are most likely to be found near water sources such as ponds, lakes, rivers, and creeks.
During the night, if you ever are near these bodies of water, watch out for their eyes. Gator eyes will glow in the dark, so you might spot them from a distance. You can see them by using a flashlight if walking around in the dark.
In some cases where gators feel threatened, they display aggressive behavior. Gators can become aggressive when provoked so it’s important to remember these safety tips:
- Keep a safe distance from gators and do not approach them.
- Do not feed gators or other wildlife. It is illegal in South Carolina.
- Be aware of your surroundings, especially near bodies of water
- Supervise children and pets. Don’t let your little ones near them at all costs as humans are common prey to this reptile.
- Gators are territorial and will protect their area, so do not swim in waters where gators may be present.
- If you see gators, leave the area calmly and slowly. The more noise, the more aggressive gators may become.
- Do not swim in ponds, freshwater lagoons, and other bodies of water where gators may be present.
Alligators Mating Season Facts
- According to the SCDNR, May and early June are gator’s mating seasons. During this period gators can become more territorial and aggressive, so be extra careful and stay away from them during this time.
- When mating or breeding, alligators can be territorial. That means they are more likely to defend their territory and show signs of aggression.
- Gators may also become territorial when looking for food or protecting their nest, so be conscious when you’re around them and respect their space.
- Gator eggs hatch between late June or early July, so it’s important to pay close attention when walking in wooded areas during this time.
The Bottom Line
Hilton Head has a lot to offer when it comes to activities, nightlife, and fun, but there’s one more thing you have to watch out for while visiting — alligators! As long as you stay vigilant, keep your distance, and follow safety precautions, then you’ll be sure to enjoy your time here in Hilton Head without any unwanted run-ins with gators.