Tuesday, July 23, 2013 — RALEIGH — Following recent reports of people seeking interaction with alligators, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding residents and visitors that feeding or harassing alligators is both illegal and dangerous.
Alligators are native to North Carolina. They are common along the coast and in the coastal plain region.
“In most instances if you see an alligator, it is not necessary to do anything other than leave it alone,” said Wildlife Officer Daniel Kennedy, stationed in Pamlico County.
“The Wildlife Commission typically does not trap and relocate alligators unless it presents a real threat — not a perceived threat — to people and animals, or is in imminent danger itself.”
Feeding an alligator will cause the animal to lose its fear of people, making it more likely to approach and possibly attack someone. Kennedy currently is investigating a case of an alligator being fed, which he warned could result in charges. But the more serious threat is the potential for injuries, he said.
Only authorized wildlife biologists and wildlife officers can remove problem alligators.
Alligators are listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Alligator hunting is prohibited by state law, as is the killing of an alligator.
To report wildlife harassment or other violations, call 1-800-662-7137. For information on wildlife conservation in North Carolina, visit www.ncwildlife.org.
About the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
Since 1947, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state’s fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use, and public input. The Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities. To learn more, visit www.ncwildlife.org.