Walt Disney World takes up a huge amount of land in the middle of Florida, and we have a huge mount of alligators here. So they come to feed and mate in their natural habitat, which sometimes brings them into contact with humans.
Given the tragedy of a two-year-old’s death in 2016 at Disney’s Grand Floridian, it is not surprising that the company has made efforts to remove the reptiles.
Over the span of five years, Disney has removed nearly 250 alligators from the property. It is estimated in the Orlando Sentinel that by 2023 the total number of ejected gators could reach 500.
The undertaking to remove the predators is a collaboration between Disney and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Sadly the removal does include destroying some of the “nuisance” creatures. The exact number of alligators that have been put down during this removal process was not specified.
FWC spokesperson Tammy Sapp stated, “The FWC takes public safety seriously and uses Targeted Harvest Area (THA) permits as part of a comprehensive effort to achieve alligator management goals. THA permits allow a managing authority to work directly with a designated FWC contracted nuisance alligator trapper, making the process for removing nuisance alligators more proactive and streamlined.”
Gators may be euthanized if humans are found to have been feeding them. Interactions like these cause the gators to become a bit too familiar with people. What that happens, the unfortunate outcome is that the gators are put down rather than relocated.
Though gators are fully recovered from their once-endangered listing, we still need to preserve these animals. Hopefully, Disney’s new barriers and will erect around the expansive property will deter gators from returning after relocation.
If you’re planning on visiting Florida and are worried about gators, don’t be. Incidents are rare and sometimes avoidable. Instead, check out the FWC’s fact sheet on alligators for more info.
Have you had any encounters with Florida’s wildlife while visiting the parks? Let us know in the comments.
[Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.