Warm weather brings early alligator activity

10:08 AM, Mar 5, 2014   |    comments
A 5-foot alligator lays in a pond with its snout in the water as a dragonfly rests on its head at Eastwood Golf Course in east Fort Myers. (Photo courtesy Fort Myers News-Press)
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NAPLES, Florida (AP) - Wildlife experts say unseasonably warm temperatures in recent weeks have brought an early surge of alligator activity.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Gary Morse says March 1 signals the start of alligators' most active period, which extends through early November. Mating season runs from April through June.

The Naples Daily News reports that FWC contracts with a handful of trappers who respond on a rotating basis to emergency calls involving alligators. Calls to 911 are also forwarded to FWC.

Morse says alligators under four feet in length are relocated, but those over the limit are humanely euthanized if they've been deemed a nuisance, meaning they're a threat to people, pets or property. The animals are often sold for their meat and hides, and trappers can make a small profit when they sell the dead animals to processors.

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