Top 10 List Of Things To Know To Protect Yourself From Crocodiles & Alligators
Crocodiles and Alligators are vital to the health of numerous ecosystems across the globe. Alligators are generally less likely to attack a human or pet, than a crocodile, but that makes them no less dangerous. Most recently, it has come to the attention of Australians particularly in Northern Queensland, that the saltwater crocodiles are starting to migrate further South. Coincidently, in the USA alligators are becoming increasingly more common in coastal areas with an American crocodile even being sighted in the surf in Hollywood Beach, Florida, just North of Miami. While most species typically live in freshwater, that doesn’t mean they cannot tolerate salt water for a period of time. The latter especially applies in estuaries and other bodies of water known for brackish water, which is a mix of fresh and salt water. For example, Tampa Bay, Florida, or intercostal waterways on the East Coast of America, crocodiles and alligators have even been known to prey on bull sharks. In order to protect yourself and your friends and family you should follow the following list of must know information about crocodiles and alligators.
Pay Attention to Warnings Signs: Warning signs are generally placed in the vicinity of habitats that crocodiles and alligators are known to frequent. Therefore, if you see a sign its best to pay attention, but just because there is no sign does not mean there are no crocodiles or alligators. Both reptiles are very astute hunters and have been known to lie on the bottom of rivers near the waters edge completely submerged. It is reported that crocodiles can stay under water for as long as 4 hours. So keep some distance from the waters edge and mind your pets, because we don’t want them to be a crocodile or alligators snack.
High Tides and Rain: Crocodiles and alligators may leave their normal territories after unusually high tides or large storms. So just because you’ve not seen one in an area before doesn’t mean one cannot or will not travel there under such circumstances.
At The Beach:
Its best to swim between the flags at beaches staffed with lifeguards actively patrolling the beach and water.
Don’t swim at dusk or dawn, which also applies to sharks as well
Look for any type warning signs in the area
Remember crocodiles and alligators normally stay submerged until they attack so its possible if you wade in the water that one can be right next to you
Lastly just because you remove 1 crocodile or alligator doesn’t mean there are no others there to take its place.
Small Boats, Kayaks, and Stand-Up Paddleboards May Be Prime Targets: It’s well documented that crocodiles and alligators have taken people from small boats, and kayaks. Now that Stand-Up Paddle Boarding is popular a lot of people who typically wouldn’t be out on the water are paddle boarding. Small crafts are not generally advisable in known alligator / crocodile habitats.
Camping: If you do decide to hike or camp overnight take the proper precautions. It is generally advised that you should make camp at least 6’ or 2–meters above the high water mark, and that you should be a minimum of 150’ or 50-meters from the waters edge
Pets: Dogs are some of our best friends, and many of us consider them to be family. However, to a crocodile or alligator they see only a tasty snack. Make sure your pets are always on a leash, and well away from the waters edge for their protection.
Cleanliness: You should keep your campsite as neat and tidy as possible. By doing so you lessen the attractiveness of the area to crocodiles and alligators that are attracted by easy meals. The same goes for other animals like bears, and raccoons. Its best to dispose of trash properly, and to store all food in a locker or hang it from a tree.
Mind Your Arms & Legs: Being out or on the water is very relaxing, and we sometimes like to put our hands or feet in the water. Like previously mentioned this is a no-go around the waters edge, and also applies to kayaks, or boats. Don’t give a crocodile or alligator an inch because their bite will take more than that for sure.
Carry Tourniquets & Other First Aid Equipment:
Always carry a tourniquet when you are surfing, fishing, boating, camping, hiking, etc. Pay particular attention to the type of tourniquet, because not all tourniquets are created equally. Some are cheap knock-offs that look ok, until you use it and SNAP! It breaks. Others are cumbersome, or just plain cheap one-time use tourniquets. Many people carry one-time use tourniquets not realizing that the manufacturer that made them intends them to only be used one-time. This means that if you buy it , and test it on yourself, it’s supposed to be discarded, or you’re supposed to buy more than one so you have one for training and one for real life incidents. There are tourniquets that are multi-use and having a ratcheting mechanism generally identifies them. Also if you think you will be in our around the water and that’s where you want to carry your tourniquet select a marine tourniquet. Currently, only one marine tourniquet exist, which is specifically designed for saltwater use. The Amphibious Tourniquet made by OMNA Inc., offers the best solution for water sports and marine first aid applications. This applies two-fold if you surf, body board, paddle board, dive, boat, etc. omnainc.com
Report Sightings: If you see a crocodile to alligator let the people nearby know, and inform the local authorities. Communication is on e of the greatest weapons you can have in your arsenal with a tourniquet (torniquete) (garrot) being a close second.