HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – An uptick in alligator sightings in the southern and western areas of Huntsville have caused officials and wildlife experts to speak out on how to observe the creatures safely.
“We are sharing our homes with each other and should recognize that they were there first,” said Huntsville City Council President Jennie Robinson. “We need to respect the alligators in their habitat as a protected species and use caution.”
In a post on the City of Huntsville blog, Huntsville Animal Services (HAS) Director Dr. Karen Sheppard said she has seen multiple social media posts regarding citizen-alligator encounters and urged citizens to proceed with caution and observe the animals from a distance.
“One individual made a really good point that people move to Huntsville from all over the U.S. and wouldn’t have any idea we have alligators,” said Sheppard. “Just leave them alone… we should respect them from a distance.”
Despite some individuals being shocked, the presence of alligators in North Alabama is nothing new. A report from the Associated Press says alligator reports in the Tennessee River go back as far as the late 1800s.