Other places are overrun with starlings or sparrows. The waters around Kennedy Space Center and central Florida positively abound with American Alligators.
On the Indian River Safety page I delve into alligators and other hazards. However this page is about gators....
Banana River Alligator hoping for a tossed back sea trout
Alligators are protected on KSC.
Photo, measure and release!
Ah sunny Florida...….
Florida does not lack for other variants of the Crocodilian family:
South of the space center can be found the American crocodile. (Actually this week there has been an American Crocodile in Satellite Beach only a few miles south of KSC)
On occasion breeding stocks of caimans can be found in the ditches that drain into the St Johns River west of the space center. (The caimans are remnant populations of when they were legal to sell in Florida.)
Today the caimans are restricted to the upland wet ditches because they will be dinner for the larger alligators if the venture into the bigger waters.
Florida Fish and WildlifeConservation Commission link:
Space Center kayak launch
(please move aside)
Off course everyone knows the toothy scaled armored swimmers are dangerous.
Attacks are rare but they do happen. The well publicized case of the child pulled into the water at Disney is a sad example.
And an unknown amount of raccoons, dogs and coyotes disappear beneath murky waters.
Invasive species such as the Nile and Savannah monitor lizards, and the Burmese pythons-so much in the news, are often consumed by these ancient predators.
However taking into account the sheer number of alligators and the even more staggering amount of humans on or near water; statistically speaking these creatures are harmless (unless you are one of the statics)
Personally I am not scared of the alligators, however I do give them the respect they deserve.
Having "bragged" I'm not scared, I have to admit I almost made water when I nearly stepped on a Mosquito Lagoon bull alligator in the jungle perhaps 50 meters away from the lagoon. When you are too close.....
Sign that was put up after the Disney attack
Another KSC kayak launch
This old dino-saur with a scarred head is probably older than Kennedy Space Center.
Econ River blocked.....Should I get out and drag the boat over?
Guess the choice is made....stay in the boat.
Actually the Econ River is fairly safe, the alligators slip away into the brown water.
This photo the gator was acting out of it's normal pattern which caught my eye. (It was not backing down) --A little bit of looking and I discovered a dead whitetail deer that this alligator was guarding from other gators and was why this one was giving me the gator-dino stare.....
I took this photo on the Jogging trail at Kennedy Space Center
Space Center babies
Where is mom?
Photo Credit: NASA
Photo Credit: NASA
Gator attack???? No just me normally clumsy. I suppose the splashing could attract something...
Angry alligator trapped behind the VAB on KSC
Welcome to Florida
Short version: Do not feed!
Sign on Sam's Creek Pine Island
Early spring on Kennedy Space Center:
Every year the fresh water swamps dry up and the alligators migrate to borrow pits, ponds and the Banana River.
With the arrival of the summer wet season, the alligators seek out the secluded swamp lands.
One of the few grandfather alligators that prefers the brackish water of the Banana River. Location: the "NO Motor Zone" channel at CCAFS where the shuttle boosters were returned.
"A fed alligator is a dead alligator" explained the park ranger. Alligators are not generally dangerous, until they associate humans with food (being fed)
My wife and I took some guests kayaking at Blue Springs in central Florida.
At the springs water outflow; people fish all year round and then toss the "gut hooked" undersized bass back into the water inadvertently feeding the alligators.
When we paddled to the outflow, there was a six foot long alligator that refused to move. Our guest was terrified and I quickly rammed the alligator and it departed (my 18' QCC kayak was bigger than the alligator and that is what they know= leave when a bigger animal wants the location.)
I told myself that, that particular alligator was going to have to be destroyed because people were feeding it fish.
The following spring it attacked a swimmer and was destroyed. I need not go into the fate of the swimmer.
Blue Springs warning
(This sign has been placed at most Florida Parks)
Babies everywhere on the Space Center
And signs.....DO NOT FEED
Another warning sign!
Apollo and Shuttle Launch Pad 39A
(now SpaceX Dragon Launch Pad in the distance across Banana Creek)
Alligator feeding on a 'alligator gar' fish
? Looks like a Croc to me....
I will keep adding photos of alligators,--- I have around 100-I think.
Basically unless these ancient hunters are feeding or fighting, the photos just get stored away without even looking at them.
Never forget you are on a wildlife refuge and they do grow large alligators.
Return Home from Alligators of the Space Coast page
My book on Florida history:
Struggle for the northern frontier and other lost tales of old Florida